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France is a country where thrillers represent around 5% of the local productions. After seing SIX PACK, it's clear to see why.
Alain Berberian (who previously directed LA CITE DE LA PEUR and PAPARAZZI, two extremely successful comedies, unfortunetaly with no cinematic interest besides the fact being shot in anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio) is trying his best. The story itself is quite interesting : a serial killer is on the loose in Paris and he seems to be an american citizen working in the US embassy and being in the middle of a french-american economical affair. No spoiler here because the story is not a whodunit but more in the Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY's "how the killer is going to be catched?" way. The biggest mistake was the lead role. An aging Richard Anconina plays the detective trying to catch the killer. His acting is by far the worst of his career, thus not helping the movie. In fact, the whole theater was laughing : 1/at his acting 2/ his oh so serious english accent when he's supposed to meet a former american detective in Chicago.
The other mistake was the second lead, Frederic Diefenthal, playing the other detective. He's trying to play the tough cop but once again, he made the whole theater laugh. He can't even handle a gun properly (and he's supposed to be a professionnal!). Pathetic. He demonstrated in Taxi 2 and here that his acting capabilities are really too limited to become someone else than a 3rd rate actor.
And the movie takes itself too seriously. It's obvious that M. Berberian is trying to scare his audience, but many directors already did the same thing before and in a better way(in its exploitative way, THE BONE COLLECTOR was kinda good and even RESURRECTION was a winner compared to this turkey). The end could have been daring. But not. It ends the same way many american thrillers did, that makes even more ridiculous the only daring action the screenplay delivers. It's also obvious how M. Berberian wants to walk the path Philip Noyce or Russel Mulcahy took some time ago.
There is also still that french complex on trying to do the same as the american studios did (the typical Luc Besson complex). And the fact it just wants to add something to think about (here the political side of the movie). Why not? But SIX PACK delivers nothing but true disappointments in every department. Even the cinematography efforts seeem pointless. And that car chase in an Opel Astra is totally unnecessary except the director might have said :" hey! we also need a car chase. let's do it now!" He just might have put it anywhere else in the movie, that would have made no difference at all.
The only positive point is Chiara Mastroainni : she's badly directed as the others but her fragile side is a relief compared to the seriousness she's surrounded with.
As always with french thrillers, it looks nice on the paper but you can fill up the garbage can with the way it has been shot. I give a 1 out of 10.
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