Tuesday 18 September 2018 photo 2/7
Hindi Crimson Rivers 2: Angels Of The Apocalypse
Chief Niemans is investigating a series of ritual murders: The victims are crucified. He teams up with young officer Reda, who gets embroiled after a man dressed as a monk tries to kill a confused guy Reda picked up on the street. Together with a specialist on christian mythology they uncover a mysterious group called "Angels of the Apokalypse".
In Lorraine, close to the border of Germany, the Chief Inspector Pierre Niemans is investigating the death of a man behind of a wall of an isolated abbey. Meanwhile, the efficient detective Reda is investigating the attempt of murder of a man called Jesus. They come to the same point along their investigations, join forces with the detective Marie, a specialist in religious matter, and fight against Heinrich von Garten, a German Minister of Culture and Religion, a group of powerful monks.
Like the first film I had high hopes for this, mainly because I am a big fan of Jean Reno. Most of the signs weren't good though, with Vincent Cassell and Mathieu Kassovitz both being absent. However Christopher Lee joins the cast and the dark atmospherics in the trailer were promising. It begins like many a religious murder mystery thriller, well not quite but still. A monk enters a room in a monastery and hammers a crucifix into the wall. He screams as blood begins to pour out. Niemans is called in, because like he says later whenever a strange case comes up he is put in charge. It is discovered that a body lies behind the wall. Reda is a young cop investigating a completely different case, and beating up a drug dealer. Quite how a French policeman trained in martial arts just so happens to come across a drug dealer who is trained in the same martial arts is quite amazing. Especially since Vincent Cassell's character also knew martial arts, one might think that the part is essentially the same character just with a new name and back story. Maybe so. Reda happens to run into a Jesus lookalike, and Reda and Niemans join forces. More people start to die, all who have the same names and jobs of the apostles. Some very tense scenes such as a chase with a superhuman monk. Another sort of chase sequence in a supermarket add to the action side of the film. Sometimes they seem as though they come out of nowhere and are just shoved in. They are very good action sequences though. Finally after a long time Christopher Lee comes in and is criminally underused, it transpires he is searching for a book, but the book is a trap and that is it. The film certainly has potential, Reno is good but seems to just be on automatic pilot. Unfortunately no characters are developed and the story is interesting but can't be pulled off while it is littered with boring people. The atmosphere is excellent though, with the dark brooding style adding to the dark nature of the film. In action terms the film has a lot, however by the end the cringe worthy joke between the two cops, and the drinking of a 'magic potion' that gives you super strength is laughable. The plot is also sort of skimmed over, and nobody questions the fact that these people might very well be Jesus and the apostles. At points you will probably be left confused. No matter though you will be entertained, and you may forget about the film soon after watching it. But it wont matter.
P.S. You don't have to see the first film to see this.
Looking back at my one-line summary for the first "Crimson Rivers", I wrote "stunningly well-directed film...if only it made sense!". For "Crimson Rivers 2", the same description can be used...except for the "stunningly well-directed" part. The script of this movie is hopelessly muddled and hole-filled (as others have mentioned, since when does taking amphetamines make you immortal?), and the direction relies on clichéd, tired imagery to build atmosphere (crucifixes, blood, heavy rain, underlit rooms, religious symbols, etc.). Occasional use of MTV-style over-editing does not help, either. Apparently not learning anything from the mistakes of the original, the filmmakers also included yet another totally gratuitous martial-arts fight. Are there any good points to this film? Well, there is an entertaining gravity-defying foot chase, Reno is always a dependable lead, Magimel has a physical enough presence, Natta is pretty...and you get the rare opportunity to hear Christopher Lee speak only in French! (**)
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