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In the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world, the Police are frustrated by a gang committing a series of violent robberies. Leo Vrinks and Denis Klein are two cops seeking promotion, and the imminent departure of the Chief sets the scene for them to compete for the vacant throne. The competition between them becomes increasingly ruthless and blurs the usual lines of morality, until there seems no difference between the police and the criminals they chase. Vrinks, meeting with a source, becomes involved with a murder. Klein seizes the opportunity to up the ante and arranges for the arrest of Vrinks, but when he goes further and viciously involves Vrinks' wife, Camille, revenge is inevitable. Written by
France has a well-established tradition in producing very good movies of the crime and film-noir categories. "36 Quai des Orfevres" follows loyally the atmosphere and style we have been attracted to since the years of Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, adapted to today's environment.
The story is about two cops, Leo Vrinks (Auteuil) and Denis Klein (Depardieu). They work under the same police chief but in different divisions, and they both compete for the top-job which is about to become vacant. Their opportunity arises when a "van gang" is terrorizing Paris, and the outgoing chief tells them that whoever manages to neutralize the dangerous gang will be eligible for his post. Both men employ all means possible to achieve their goal, and at some point the line between crime and their methods begins to blur...
Olivier Marchal, who is a former police officer himself, captivates us with his excellent way of portraying the machinations that are happening behind the scenes of law enforcement. In this task, he is greatly assisted by the excellent performances by all the actors involved. Of course, Depardieu is first among equals, showing his great talent once again.
Excellent Film. 9/10.
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