Corneau aims high,much higher than Melville,without that director's ridiculous metaphysical pretensions.He actually tries to imitate the American film Noir (which Melville tried to do too),not only those of Scorcese ("shades of "taxi driver" ) but also the golden age of Wise,Siodmak,Walsh ...
The best of his work remain his early efforts:" police python 357" and "La Menace" ;these movies have in common a solid,if implausible,screenplay.Things begin to deteriorate beyond that point :"Le Choix Des Armes" relied more on the actors than on a well-constructed plot."Le Mome" is even worse: the screenplay is poor,mean and is devoid of any interest .The cop-and-babe story has been told and told and told and TOLD and Corneau and Clavier (writer) cannot renew it. There are much nudity and a lot of love scenes between Anconina (good but not exactly what you call a sex symbol)and his statuesque black co-star,an interminable car chase .That does not mean a thing when you don't have ,say,a Simenon book to help you with the atmosphere.
Another danger is to use great songs in a soundtrack:when you hear Otis Redding sing " dock of the bay" or "try a little tenderness" ,you forget all about the picture and you are under the spell ,not of the movie,but of this fantastic voice.
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