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As an Alain Delon vehicle, "Le Choc" is a shockingly (pun intended) banal programmer, occasionally livened up by the well-executed moments of violence (and they are plenty: fork through the palm, knife through the head, fireplace poker through the stomach, etc.). As one of the very few Delon-Deneuve pairings, it's nothing much: the only surprising thing about their love scene is how early into the film it comes. Delon has played this kind of role a million times before, but he does give a convincing performance, and easily (at least on this occasion) outclasses Deneuve. They both go for a rather "inexpressive" style of acting, but you can read a lot more on his face that you can on hers. For those who might care, he also has a full-frontal nude scene in this film BUT it's shot from a long distance and he's behind a glass wall. (**)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wow...what a cast--Catherine Deneuve and Alain Delon. With two such
wonderful actors, I would sure expect a lot from this film. However,
despite the movie's poster showing both actors and this being from a
Catherine Deneuve DVD set, she doesn't even appear until well into the
The film finds Delon some sort of world-class assassin. He works for Mr. Cox and the Organization--whatever that means. I assume it's organized crime but perhaps it's some governmental organization. Anyway, Delon is tiring of the jet set like of international assassinations and has decided to quit. However, Cox will hear nothing of it and begins sending flunkies and assassins to either convince Delon to un-retire or die. But Delon is too cool and too good at his craft and the plans fail.
In the meantime, Delon collects his money from his safe deposit box and asks a wacky lady who has been managing his money to tell him what she's invested it in. Oddly, she sunk all the money into a turkey farm! Once Delon disappears, he resurfaces in Normandy--at the turkey farm run by Deneuve. At this point, it's 30 minutes into the film when they meet. You assume they'll simply fall in love...but this isn't exactly correct, as Deneuve's character is already married--though the guy is a total jerk and alcoholic (who, incidentally, listens to the most god-awful style of jazz you could imagine). It's soon obvious that their marriage is a very unhappy one and before you can say 'idiot husband', Delon and Deneuve are making love like crazed weasels!
Some time passes (during which you really come to hate the husband). Suddenly, when Delon and Deneuve return home to the turkey farm, they find four assassins in the home--with guns and a great willingness to use them. They kill the husband (how convenient) but then Devenuve and Delon take them out--and flee the place, as more like them are soon to follow. However, when Delon goes to check for his hidden stash of money, it seems someone has been there first--and it's gone.
Eventually, Cox catches up to Delon. He offers to not only return the money but give him a bonus--provided he do one more job. In the meantime, they hold Deneuve prisoner to guarantee his cooperation. But who is this target and will they really allow him to walk with his money? Tune in and see for yourself.
To me, this is like two separate movies that are uncomfortably merged. The first is a super-cool thriller about a mega-cool assassin. I loved this part of the film and enjoyed Delon's cold and cool demeanor. the second is a romance--which, to me, seemed forced and unnecessary. I really think the film could have been better had they stuck with the assassin film alone--keeping it more focused and consistent with Delon's character. As it was, his relationship with Deneuve seemed improbable and out of character--as Delon never showed any signs of being a nice guy up until then--just tough and very professional. In fact, all the parts with Deneuve seemed to slow down the film tremendously--and I wanted more of the cool assassin. This part of the film sure reminded me of another excellent Delon film, "Le Samourai"--and I wanted to see much more like it. Overall, it's worth seeing--but terribly uneven. It could have been great.
By the way, when the guy is shot in the pool, where is the blood?! Watch this scene and see what I mean.
After his last contract, the hit-man Martin "Christian" Terrier (Alain
Delon) tells his only friend Michel (Etienne Chicot) that he will
retire; however Michel advises that the Organization will never let him
go. Christian visits his boss Cox (François Perrot) to receive the
payment for his last work and to inform his decision but Cox does not
admit that he quits the Organization.
Christian visits the manager of his money, Jeanne Faulques (Stéphane Audran), and he learns that she had invested part of his money in a turkey farm in the countryside. He drives to the place to spend a couple of days and has a love affair with Claire (Catherine Deneuve), who runs the farm with her husband Félix (Philippe Léotard) and has a loveless marriage. Out of the blue, criminals arrive at the farm and Félix is murdered. Christian and Claire kill the killers and they head to Paris to travel abroad. However, Christian discovers that Jeanne is dead and his money was stolen from the bank safe. Then, Christian and Claire are abducted by the men of Cox that wants Christian to have his last contract. In return, he would return his money plus the payment of his fees. Can Christian trust in Cox?
"Le Choc" is an entertaining and forgettable action thriller with romance with Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve. The story has many clichés and Alain Delon performs a contradictory character, a hired cold blood hit-man that falls in love with a woman on the same day he has met her. The final twist is totally predictable and disappointing. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "O Choque" ("The Shock")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This review may contain spoilers. I am a fan of Catherine Deneuve and Alain Delon. That said, it was a lot of fun to see two lovely stars together. I was not expecting much. Thus, I was surprised to find some plot twist. I think that it is believable for Alain Delon's character to fall in love with Catherine Deneuve. After all, she is one of the most beautiful women in the world. I think this movie should not be over analyzed. Just sit back, relax and enjoy it. It is mildly suspenseful and romantic and fun. I wish there were more movies of Catherine Deneuve and Alain Delon together. Although Catherine Deneuve is still active making movies, I think Alain Delon has retired.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yet another superficial, yet mildly entertaining time-waster in the crime genre--a "crime-waster". Alain Delon and Deneuve must be about the best-looking pair in cinema, even if they were not so young anymore in 1982. But that only carries so much weight. This is another in the long line of stories about a hit man who wants out of the "business". In this case it's not so much that he knows too much, it's that he's too good at his job and nobody can truly replace him. When Delon informs the crime boss, a Monsieur Cox, that he wants out, Cox tries to tempt him with money, but Delon stands his ground. After a violent episode, he knows he must flee Paris. His ex-wife, Stéphane Audran, gets him a "turkey factory" ("usine de dindon"), really a turkey farm as a cover for his disappearance. Once there, overrun by frightened fowl, he discovers employee Deneuve, who lives with her abusive, drunken, atonal-jazz-obsessed husband. To the harsh strains of Anthony Braxton, the two men face off and reach a stalemate. The husband departs and the two lovely stars pair up. Later, when hit men (plus one woman) turn up in retribution for one of Delon's past "jobs", some entertaining and over-the-top violence ensues, as Deneuve manages to help Delon overtake the gang when she thrusts a fireplace poker clear through the woman (ouch!!). The violence here, and elsewhere, is quite graphic. The rest of the film consists of numerous narrow escapes and 'deux ex machina' resolutions. Delon and Deneuve are both much better than this material, which was co-written and co-directed by Monsieur Delon. If you don't take it too seriously, it's fun to watch the ridiculous violence and the occasionally beautiful locations.
Enjoyable, but by no means a great crime film starring Alain Delon and
Catherine Deneuve. The script is extremely cliched, so it is left to the
actors to pull this one off. And to a certain extent they
The direction is unimaginative, but the production design is cool mostly in the form of locations. I'm not sure whether the version I saw was uncut, but doubt it would have made much difference.
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