Five close friends, all of them married, share a loft to meet their mistresses. One day they find the body of a young woman in the loft. Since there are only five keys to the loft, the five men begin to suspect each other of murder.
Erik Van Looy
Koen De Bouw,
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Erik Van Looy
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Antje de Boeck
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Frank van Mechelen
Koen De Bouw,
Vincke and Verstuyft are one of the best detective teams of the Antwerp police force. When they are confronted with the disappearance of a top official and the murder of two prostitutes, the trail leads to the almost retired assassin Angelo Ledda. Since Ledda starts showing symptoms of Alzheimer's, it's getting more and more difficult to complete his contracts. When he has to murder a 12-year old call-girl, he refuses and becomes a target himself. While Vincke and Verstuyft are chasing him and counting the corpses, Ledda is taking care of his employers. Written by
The remake rights have been acquired by Focus Features, Universal Pictures' independent boutique. See more »
The movie is set in 1995. After stepping off the train Ledda takes the escalators down in Antwerp Central station. There weren't any escalators in there at that time. See more »
[while practicing his French]
Vincke, why do you have to know French to pass the commisioner's exam?
To be able to read the menus in the fancy restaurants, Freddy.
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I saw this film at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival. Although based on a novel, this stylish police thriller's main conceit ("hit-man has Alzheimer's") could have been lifted from a Hollywood film executive's idea of "high concept". Except that it would have made a forgettable Hollywood picture. Instead, director Van Looy sets this story in his native Belgium. Police detectives Vincke and Verstuyft are like a modern day Starsky and Hutch, without the bad haircuts. Who knew that Antwerp even had police, never mind such cool ones? Their job is to track down the man who's killed several high-profile politicians and a young child prostitute.
Reminding me a lot of Terence Stamp in The Limey, veteran actor Jan Decleir portrays aging hitman Angelo Ledda, whose refusal to kill the young girl leads him to seek revenge on the people who want her dead. His deterioration is a cause for sympathy as well as a plot device. He must complete his "mission" before he forgets his reasons for carrying it out. He also plays a cat and mouse game with the police who are trying to solve the killings, staying one step ahead until he can no longer think clearly.
Van Looy admitted his fondness for "police thrillers with a soul" and especially for the work of Michael Mann, and the influence of Mann is everywhere. If you like Mann, you'll like this film. Well-developed characters, moody cinematography and fine acting didn't completely save this film, though. I thought the plot was a little too straightforward, and the film itself was about 20 minutes too long, with a couple of false endings that could have been re-cut. I think I would have given a shorter version of this film an 8, but even if it was a slightly derivative cop film, it was a slightly derivative cop film IN FLEMISH, which has to count for something!
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