4.7/10
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3 user 7 critic

Mean Spirit (2003)

Mauvais esprit (original title)
Simon is a down-on-his luck artist who gets no breaks from any quarter. While out working as a street sketch artist, he stumbles across the construction site for a new museum that is very ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vincent Porel
...
Chrystèle Porel
Jean-Marie Winling ...
Docteur Edouard
Debora Khan ...
Hôtesse Bureau Porel #1
France Bargain ...
Hôtesse Bureau Porel #2
Clémentine Célarié ...
Béatrice Copy
...
La traductrice
Roger To Thanh Hien ...
Nguyen Van Tam (as Roger To-Thanh-Hien)
Thaïs Alessandrin ...
Petite Fille
...
Eric Cornet ...
Clochard
...
Carmen
François Levantal ...
Freddy
Sylvie Vandeputte ...
Secrétaire Porel
...
Vigile #1
Edit

Storyline

Simon is a down-on-his luck artist who gets no breaks from any quarter. While out working as a street sketch artist, he stumbles across the construction site for a new museum that is very obviously stolen from a design he created as an architecture student. Enraged, he storms into the office of architect Vincent Porel and demands an explanation, but is immediately hauled out by security. When the police arrive to arrest Simon, he makes a break for freedom, only to be accidentally struck down in the street by Porel himself. As Simon lays dying on the hood of Porel's car, his soul is transferred into the body of a newborn baby, none other than Porel's own son, born at that very instant. Remembering his past and realizing that he is now in the care of the man who stole his work and killed him, Simon resolves to make his new father's life hell. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Chieur-né!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bastardo dentro  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,996,698 (France) (7 November 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
a newcomer in the "it has to be seen to be believed" series
1 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Brocéliande" (2002) had taken French fantastic movie to the mountains of the ridiculous, "Gunblast Vodka" (2000) had seriously tainted the (little glorious) reputation of the French thriller with its couldn't-care-less treatment attributed to this dangerous topic that is the snuff-movies. Here, "Mauvais Esprit" (2003) breaks a new record: it's the nadir of the French comedy we've seen for a long time. We have rarely been so lower in this register with this turkey which contains everything to be excluded in a French comedy.

How could Laurent Chouchan, the scriptwriter of "Tanguy" (2001) be the author of this "Mauvais Esprit". One could blame Etienne Chatiliez's movie for not being true to the social reality but at least, it contained painstaking comical sequences with caustic humor galore. Here, Patrick Alessandrin's flick reveals a Laurent Chouchan with a totally dried up inspiration. The starting point itself condemns the success of the movie. Indeed: a possessed human being (a child or a grown-up) by a devilish strength is light years away from the planet of originality. It's a threadbare topic which has been used countless times in several kinds of movie (the most notorious example is of course "the Exorcist" 1973). Using such an ominous subject on a comedy tone might have renewed this theme but unfortunately it's not the case and not making the viewer smile is quite an achievement from the authors!

"Mauvais Esprit" is plagued with scheduled sudden new developments, jerry-built moments and especially ludicrous or unbearable of vulgarity sequences with intolerable scatological humor. It is also drowned in a spate of clichés. The most notorious one is the fight between Ophélie Winter and Maria Pacôme which seems to occupy more place in the movie than the plot itself. The main comical assets of the movie which could have enabled it to take off have been shelved or worse: forgotten or skipped. The authors are completely incapable of writing one single gag of real invention. The present gags have an overrated reputation. At last, the voice of the actor Michel Muller rapidly proves itself to be boring because it is used in an awkward way. Muller gives the impression of not being there and not really caring about his role.

The cast is unfathomable. Thierry Lhermitte can be an estimable actor when he works with a director who has valuable expertise in comedy like Francis Veber. Please, do see the delicious "Dîner de Cons" (1998)! But here he's pitiful and has to team up with Ophélie Winter a so-called actress with more than limited gifts and whose countenance is as expressive as a Barbie doll. Maria Pacôme can't do anything with such a script and the rest of the cast is reduced to acting archetypal walk-ons.

The end takes the easy way and ends a cloying of vulgarity opus whose making was seemingly grueling. Much effort for nothing and once again so much money spent on a dud like this one goes beyond me.


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