|Index||8 reviews in total|
'Fantomas Strikes Back' is a great period piece. While not as
believable and scary as the original series opener a year earlier, the
wonderful Rome locations more than compensate. The Fantomas films were
shot in post-WWII Europe's heydays, when it looked like the future will
be just as rosy.
This film came out the same year as the Bond flick 'Thunderball,' and can be considered French cinema's answer to the Anglophile 007 craze sweeping Europe and the world back then. The kidnapped scientist plot shows up in many Bond films, of course. But the best gimmick in any Fantomas film is Fantomas' ability to assume other people's identity at will by using high quality rubber face masks. And his own, featureless eerie green rubber mask is rather scary still.
BTW, does anyone know if the 'Fantomas' films are available on DVD?
This one is actually superior to the first installment in the series
(see above): the plot revolves around a couple of scientists who have
each been working on a brain-washing device(!) and who had been hoping
to unite their forces in order to perfect it - which places it, more or
less, into the realm of science fiction; needless to say, Fantomas sees
this as a good way to bring about world-domination (with him as its
ruler) and promptly kidnaps them!
The heroic reporter couple and the comic police duo are back on the criminal's trail; however, this time around it's not only Fantomas who takes up various disguises to carry out his nefarious schemes (though the mask worn by the actor is too obvious and won't fool any audience member!) but also the other Jean Marais and De Funes/Juve!; another novelty is the more personal nature of the relationship between the Mylene Demongeot character and Marais/Fantomas: at one point, she's herself kidnapped and one almost expects their relationship to be developed into something approximating to a parallel romance, but it's never taken that far and we're soon back to more familiar (and less challenging) ground!
The finale takes place in Fantomas' volcanic hide-out; interestingly, footage from Haroun Tazieff's LES RENDEZ-VOUS DU DIABLE (1958) - a documentary about volcanic eruptions - was interspersed into the actual film for authenticity's sake...before it reverts to fancy, with the master criminal's racing-car converted instantaneously into a jet and taking flight!!
This is a wonderful movie. Very funny, intelligent, and a sophisticated humour. The scene of Inspector Juve with the three arms is just hilarious. Both the series of "The Pink Panther" (Peter Sellers) or Austin Powers probably were inspired by this wonderful movie and the other Fantomas movies in the 3-movie series. It is a must see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This sequel to "Fantomas" is more of a cash-in. It's more kiddie-orientated than the original, and Inspector Juve's screen time has been increased, which is good news if you're a Louis De Funes fan, but makes the film unbearable if you're not (at least Juve's lethal gadgets mostly work!). At the same time, the stunts and action have been reduced dramatically, and it would not be much of an exaggeration to say that almost nothing happens in this movie until the last 10 minutes or so. If you make it that far, you will find the film's only memorable scenes, which actually predate some classic Bond sequences by more than a decade; a car that can fly ("The Man With The Golden Gun") and a fall out of a plane without a parachute ("Moonraker"). These European films are often categorized as James Bond "ripoffs", but sometimes they had inventions of their own that were possibly copied by the Bond series later! ** out of 4.
This episode is definitely the more entertaining of the series starring
de Funès and Jean Marais. After the rather flat Fantômas (1964) and
before a weird #3 where the evil genius becomes a base racketeer who
occasionally kills a Lord in a Scottish manor, Fantômas se déchaîne is
well packed with action and fun.
OK the directing is pretty lame and you'd better discovering this movie as a child since an over-the-top De Funès with all the James Bond toolkit spoofing can't make up for all the lack of rhythm. On the whole De Funès and Jean Marais are perfect to make the whole thing work throughout that good model of what was and is lacklustre yet popular French cinema.
the tension from the first part becomes support for great humor. Fantomas becomes fascinating and entire story, with influences from the post WW II cinema theme of the kidnapped scientist , with the same commissaire Juve and seductive Helene, with Rome who remains the same great location, with the too realistic rubber masks. a film ideal for a genre of public looking the state of his youth. or for the young public, looking understand the universe of the grandparents. because Fantomas Unleashed remains, first, a great show. and this is the supreme virtue. for the great atmosphere. for the seductive scenes. for the predictable events. for the fine humor. so, a lovely film.
This film came out the same year as the Bond flick 'Thunder-ball,' and
can be considered French cinema's answer to the Anglophile 007 craze
sweeping Europe and the world back then. The kidnapped scientist plot
shows up in many Bond films, of course. But the best gimmick in any
Fantomas film is Fantomas' ability to assume other people's identity at
will by using high quality rubber face masks. And his own, featureless
eerie green rubber mask is rather scary still.
This is a wonderful movie. Very funny, intelligent, and a sophisticated humor. The scene of Inspector Juve with the three arms is just hilarious. Both the series of "The Pink Panther" (Peter Sellers) or Austin Powers probably were inspired by this wonderful movie and the other Fantomas movies in the 3-movie series. It is a must see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the 2nd installment of a beloved movie series Marais gives a valiant
triple performanceas Fandor, Fantômas and Lefevre. Fantômas unchained
could be named as well the Lefevre affair; as Fantômas, the terrific
mastermind, kidnaps two scientiststwo hypnotiststhe 2nd of them being
Lefevre. Part of the installment takes place in Rome; now, when in Rome
FANTÔMAS UNLEASHED strikes a deliberately inter-textual notewith a script high on gadgets and action, and in this installment it's Juve who saves the day with his cigars, though the inventors of the telepathic gun could have used it a bit earlier. They all pretty obviously slip on the stairway in Fantômas volcano residence. A bit of the signature Fantômas score features towards the finale; the effects in the great aerial chase are simply revolting, though they say they had a parachutist cameramananyway, the volcano sequences are lifted, as stated, from a Tazieff science flick.
And those who voraciously read my entries here not only are doing a great good to themselvesno mean thing eitherbut, pals, they also know that the old French action cinema is an important theme in my writing; the fact is that, in the '60s and '70s, the French action cinema knew, with Marais, Ventura, Belmondo, Delon, his glory days. The Belmondo, the Marais '60s flicks were pure action outings. And then, in Europe, the Italians took onand led on .
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