This gritty police drama shows us the underbelly of the Parisian drug trade. Lulu is a tough streetwise narcotics cop who, like a Frank Serpico or a Dirty Harry Callahan, doesn't play by ... See full summary »
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Harry Dean Stanton
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Cécile De France
In Vietnam, 1954, a French platoon isolated behind enemy lines tries to come back. It is led by the inexperienced, idealistic sous-lieutenant Torrens, and by adjutant Willsdorf, a WWII veteran of the Werhmacht.
This gritty police drama shows us the underbelly of the Parisian drug trade. Lulu is a tough streetwise narcotics cop who, like a Frank Serpico or a Dirty Harry Callahan, doesn't play by the rules or kowtow to his weak and/or corrupt superiors. Lulu thrives in this violent world, where sheer guts can overcome his squad's deficiencies of money and equipment. Despite the ruthless environment that he lives and works in every day, he still manages somehow to maintain his humanity. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
TFO is running a series of Bertrand Tavernier's films; L. 627 is just another example of this man's bewildering versatility--costume epics, science fiction, exotic noir, gritty slice-of-life pictures. Here we have police procedure with a more despairing tone than Hollywood has ever given us. The light cynicism of the French Connection has become a cry of despair over police corruption and bureaucratic nonsense. The only problem: at 145 minutes, it's far too long, since there is no plot the viewer can hang on to, just a series of vignettes.
The actors are great: Lara Guirao impresses as the HIV-positive hooker whom Lulu is attracted to, but can't have sex with. Philippe Torreton is his usual frightening self as Lulu's partner, while Jean-Paul Comart is the boss from hell: irresponsible (tear gas in the coin toilet), concerned only with filling quotas. Dodo leads the squad into a squalid room with two African women and a baby, the resulting foul-up has to be seen to be believed. Didier Bezace wise-cracks his way through the chaos, showing us some of his pain.
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