|Index||2 reviews in total|
Robert Enrico was an average director who happened to direct good
scripts with a strong cast (Les Aventuriers, Le Vieux Fusil), and
wonderful scores by his friend François de Roubaix too.
Ho! has an interesting premise: a loser-driver wants to prove to his bosses he can be a real elegant/tough/mastermind gangster. The exposition at the beginning of the movie is quite good then, but they added a flashback before that to tell the backstory of "5 years before" which is cheap and useless.
The main problem is the script doesn't build a consistent character arc. Belmondo is a good low-profile dummy in the beginning, then he rapidly switches to an enterprising 'Bébel' quite sure and full of himself. This simply doesn't work: it is a major directorial failure. The love affair with a top model (Johanna Shimkus) doesn't help to stir Ho away from Belmondo's stock light-hearted philanderer. Then again the script doesn't rise above routine crime situations. In the end you've got an awkward character (the irritatingly comical bébel of Tendre Voyou) in a poor film noir story. The screenwriters here could have learnt a bit from Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo, and how to credibly grow your hero from a naive young man into a relentless adult.
I am no fan of Drive and I must say it was disheartening to see so many people love it, but yes, Ryan Gosling's character was more consistent (yet blandly so), the love interest fitted the character's arc instead of bugging the narration and there was a real fatalistic storyline. Plus the director had style (too much IMO) whereas style is limited to Mr Belmondo's ties and suits in Ho!
The year before,Robert Enrico had released his best film ever:"les aventuriers".Its follow-up "Tante Zita " was one of his most personal movies ,but also his least accessible work ."Ho" was a major disappointment.Third film featuring Johanna Shimkus ,it's by far the weakest link of the "trilogy".Far from the wonderful Leatitia in "les aventuriers" and the maiden who had to cope with death in "Tante Zita" ,Shimkus 's part is so thin here it's reduced to a decorative walk on.It's Belmondo who gets the lion 's share here.He portrays a race driver who has lost his membership card (like Delon's pilot Manu had lost his in "les aventuriers").So he has become the chauffeur of a gangsters pack ,a very humiliating situation.Good start,but disastrous screenplay ,never rising over routine cops and robbers genre.Stick with "les aventuriers" .
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