Empire of the Wolves (2005) Poster

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Winning example of style over substance
LARSONRD11 March 2006
Stylish and compelling mystery thriller along the lines of the CRIMSON RIVERS series, staring the consistently likable Jean Reno as a retired detective recruited back to assist a young Captain who is investigating a series of cruel murders of female Turkish immigrants which are suspected to involve a cadre of Turkish terrorists known as the Gray Wolves; meanwhile Arty Jover very well portrays a young amnesiac woman married to another police investigator who learns disturbing truths about her past – with both stories eventually merging in a thrilling climax that works despite some inherent preposterousness. Film is very well directed by Chris Nahon who lends a great deal of visual stylization to the storytelling; the storyline is somewhat convoluted but nonetheless becomes quite engrossing that the film works as an interesting and entertaining thriller, enhanced by impressive effects and an atmospheric musical sound design (five composers are credited). A winning example of style over substance, film is very enjoyable for the undiscriminating.
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One of the better movies I have seen in a while.
Paladin Steelbreaker16 December 2006
Well, I am certainly getting more and more impressed with the acting skills of Jean Reno, that's for sure! He shifts so easily between hero and villain. In this movie one never quite figured which one he was. At least I didn't. And the other actors, whom i am sad to say I don't know, did their part almost as good. All in all it was top notch acting all around, and that is seldom to see in an action/thriller. Usually it is the lead man or woman that carries the movie on his/her shoulder.

And the story went in so many different directions that I was kept on the tip of my toes for all of the movie.

The script was very tightly written, the pace never dulled, and the foreboding atmosphere brought forth by magnificent use of camera and lighting, went as a red thread through it all. It made me believe this was something it was not.

The reason I am giving Empire of The Wolves a strong 8, instead of a pure 10, is because of the scientific mumbo jumbo. It was the only part that seemed a little off. It was just a bit too much science fiction like. Now i love a good science fiction flick as much as the other guy, but it did not quite fit in here, i feel. They should have come up with something a bit more realistic. It isn't that easy to mess with memories.

And yes, i know that it probably were made that way on purpose, to throw the watcher off the scent, as was certain other unrealistic elements in the movie, that I won't go further into. But i feel they fit better with the mood of the movie.

Anyway, if you haven't seen Empire of The Wolves, do it as soon as you can. Because this is still a seriously well made movie. It is a shame it has such relatively low rating on the IMDb. It deserves better.

Paladin Steelbreaker
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If Like Action Thrillers, You'll love this
northwatuppa2 October 2006
First let's get a couple of things straight. This movie is dark, unsweetened European chocolate for the mind, pure and simple. It makes about as much sense as a Jerry Bruckheimer film. Or maybe the average John Woo movie. Which is to say, it only makes sense as entertainment--the purest form of escapist entertainment. Now that we have that out in the open ....

This lengthy film is handsomely mounted and well-executed. High production values in evidence throughout. It is well-written and well-acted. It is visually attractive and atmospheric. It is absorbing and there is not a dull moment in it.

The plot is a mix of serial killer movie, extreme political thriller, crazed Nazi doctor movie, secret "anti-terrorist" police movie, medical science fiction and old cop/young cop partner movie. But they mix all this stuff up together quite enjoyably. Like Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott and John Woo films, it really shouldn't work, but it really does.

Reno is great as a dangerous, rather brutal and grizzled rogue cop gotten out of "retirement" by an obsessed young cop to solve a series of grisly murders. The actor playing the young cop acquits himself well. The cast of villains and victims is convincing and compelling. The dialogue is good quality and there are twists and turns aplenty. Keeps you guessing until the last scene.

We are taken on a wild and dark and violent ride through the grim underworld of human traffickers in the Turkish slums of Paris (at least I think it was Paris).

Anyway, whoever made this movie really set out to entertain an audience. I think they succeeded admirably.

Turn on the movie, turn off your mind and enjoy yourself.
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Good film with interesting twists and developments
vikingvampireparrot30 August 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I was slightly worried at first that subtitles were a bit ambitious for hungover Sunday viewing but it was fairly easy to keep up.

The two plot lines seem completely separate at first and they are nicely tied together later in the film. This works very well at giving two sides of an event without resorting to flashbacks or spoon-feeding the viewer.

You do have to think and pay attention to this film but it is not overly cryptic - I think I understood everything I needed to at the end. Some minor details might be a little blurry but these are not integral to the plot.

Some racial stereotypes aside this is a very well thought out and captivating film.
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Pretty good.
stormruston19 April 2006
Not a bad action/thriller.

A bit slow for a action movie, and not quite thrilling enough for a thriller. Still the action sequences were well done and some of the fighting sequences verged on excellent.

The story was slightly far fetched and tho the writers tried for twists it was really very straight forward.

Jean Reno was good as always and I thought Jocelyn Quivrin was excellent.

This movie was like a cross between "the borne identity", "seven" and 100 average cop movies.

Worth a watch id you like Jean Reno.
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Better than I expected..Considering the reviews
Lee Bartholomew23 January 2006
I keep finding myself liking French action movies more than Hollywood films. Not that I hate Hollywood action films. This particular movie is good at one thing. Escapism. Pure escapism. The plot is so so, but the movie is such that almost 2 hours go by and I've hardly noticed.

This movie is much better than The Crimson Rivers 2. Although I love the character in that movie. Jean Reno's beard in this one is a lil off putting. But still great acting nonetheless. Empire of the Wolves (as is the name on the disk.. if you entered that in search in IMDb you'd come up empty handed. ) has great similarities to the first Crimson Rivers. Although there, the camera work was so superiour that there's no comparison. Crimson Rivers 2 is not based on a novel of the first movie. This one is. The score is pretty good. And the female lead did a darn good job with what she was given. I'm not entirely sure why some didn't like the movie, maybe they were expecting Delicatessen or some masterpiece. But hey, up against most of the Hollywood fare, this one trounces them.


Quality: 4/10 (confusing storyline) Entertainment: 10/10 Replayable: 10/10
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A strong beginning and a good cast ...
kosmasp7 July 2007
... are not enough to satisfy the/a sophisticated viewer! A movie that begins as fine as this, more in the vain of a thriller and clearly reminding people of films as "Fifth Element", and has horror elements woven into the plot, should deserve a better rating. I was amazed by the beginning and was really anxious to know what was happening. Throw in Jean Reno, always on top of his game and nothing can go wrong ... or can it?

Well it seems it can! And this movie is an example of why, you should know where you're heading as a director, making a movie. Also one of those movies who try to mix up genres just like that ... Doesn't work that easy though. And although the beginning was suspenseful and good, you will notice the point where the movie breaks ... where it won't only get ridiculous, but the movie also falls to pieces. And even the not badly photographed action sequences at the end can' save that, as well as Reno can't! The question that remains is, did the script writer(s) mess this up, or did the director go another way and made many script "corrections" (they've gone all wrong then)? I'll never know, but I also don't care!
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Splendid entertainment!
ogniem_i_mieczem28 August 2005
Another great action/thriller from France. A little bit Bourne Identity, a little bit Carlitos Way, dash Lethal Weapon "bad&good" cop attitude, a glimpse of From Dusk Till Dawn and Silence of the Lambs and you have a pretty entertaining 128 min at your local cinema (or on DVD). If you liked some past french productions like Crimson Rivers or Brotherhood of the Wolf you won't be disappointed. The action scenes are not perfect, they need a little bit polishing but at the end it's solid cine experience with interesting story. The script is tight, maybe one twist too much at the end but hey, it's worth and you should follow it without any difficulties. Again, it's not perfect, but solid 8/10.
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Explosive sequel
Luigi Di Pilla17 April 2006
L'EMPIRE DES LOUPS is another intelligent, intense and very explosive thriller from the author Jean-Christophe Grangé who wrote also the first CRIMSON RIVERS. It kept me all the time guessing what came next and there were many puzzles to solve. Director Nahon made a great job and all the actors delivered a very solid performance. I hope there will be soon another one. I don't know why this movie is underrated on IMDb with actual 5.4 but I give with my wife a solid 7.5/10. If I compare the quality of this film with similar Hollywood thrillers then it's no doubt one of the best and a must see for all fans of this genre. I am a little disappointed why this excellent thriller didn't get enough attention at the theaters and even me discovered it accidentally in the film dates of Jean Reno.
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A nicely composed action movie and an average thriller
tdias-12 July 2005
This movie came as a surprise, I never expected such a fast paced action movie produced in France. The ambiance is excellent, the story is a bit hard to follow and I'm afraid not at all well put together. But never the less it's a nice piece of work for the positive points, in terms of quality, aside from the storyline, some thriller-like scenes are too exaggerated (almost like a bad horror movie), the same exaggeration happens with some action scenes also.

Overall this movie is a must for action movie and thriller fans but be prepared to need a bit of attention to follow a averagely accomplished script.
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