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Dead in France (2012)

4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 236 users  
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A socially-challenged hitman's French retirement is ruined by the dodgy Brits on the Cote d'Azur.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Celia Muir ...
Lisa
...
Denny
Lee Cheney ...
Simon
...
Clancy
...
Charles (as Brian Levine)
James Privett ...
Raymond
...
Jacques
Tom Geoffrey ...
David Cross
Ray Ash ...
Mr. Burgess
Celia Drummond ...
Mrs. Burgess
Hanna Waite ...
Viveka
Jonathan Esseku ...
The Accountant
Sandra Pascual ...
Frenchwoman 1
Michel Cosentino ...
Frenchman 1
Chris Manns ...
Cross Security Guy 1
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Storyline

Socially-challenged hitman Charles lives in Cannes and wants to retire with a yacht and a woman in tow. He has no experience with either until he lets his cleaning lady (delectable Essex-girl Lisa) into his life, but he doesn't bank on her vile boyfriend Denny or con-artists Simon and Ray stealing a two million quid nest egg from the boot of his car. Charles hunts them down across the Cote d'Azur whilst pursued by his rival Clancy who is incensed by the fact that Charles might actually be retiring. Written by Jack Hillgate

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Six Brits in the South of France just trying to make a killing See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Thriller

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 2012 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Have it Your Own Way
Written by Jesserit
Performed by Jesserit
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User Reviews

 
What Brand?
19 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

This black and white film is set on the Cote d'Azur where a hit-man is about to retire. He has one last job and that's it for him. Whilst he goes off to end his career he leaves behind Lisa at his house. Lisa's nutter of a boyfriend turns up and it turns out that Lisa and boyfriend have a scam going. That's one story thread.

When the hit-man, Charles, completes his contract, he has the chance to kill an old rival, but takes several million instead. It turns out the old rival wants revenge. That's another thread.

Then there's a young woman who's also an rival and, when she hears that Charles is retiring, she rushes out to France to take revenge on him, or get his money, or something. That's a third thread.

Charles fancies owning a yacht as part of his retirement and that's when two brothers attempt to steal his car. Instead of taking the car, they take the money, and that's the final thread.

All these threads interweave during the rest of the film as the action slowly centres on Charles' French house. Although the number of coincidences is too extreme to be believable, if you're forgiving enough, then the story trundles along and makes some sense.

There's a good amount of violence and death in this film, mostly at the beginning and end, but, being in black and white, the violence is toned down enough to be suitably comical when needed. And this film is meant to be funny. Sure, there are some funny scenes, but mostly the humour misses the spot. I put that down to the way that Charles is played; you don't get any sense of him as a person. He's too wooden, soulless, and with too-perfect diction to be believable as a person, any sort of person.

Other reviews say that Charles is socially challenged. In fact, he's just germaphobic, which does lead to my favourite dialogue in the film: "I'll even clean up the body. I've got hydrochloric acid in the basement, tonnes of it." "What brand?" Sadly though, almost nothing is made of this 'flaw' and Charles is just a normal person for the rest of the film. Everybody else is also fairly normal, apart from the Mohawk nutter boyfriend, who's just a bit over the top, but has a good scene with a gun and a cat.

There's nothing really wrong with this film, but it just doesn't quite work. The pace is a little slow in places, the coincidences too extreme, some of the timing of events doesn't work, sometimes the acting is too dry to be effective, and there's just not enough wit and intelligence on display.

This is one of those films where you want to do a remake, with just a few tweaks, and you KNOW you'd turn it into a great film. So near, and yet so far.


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