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This movie is definitely not an Oscar material, but if you don't know what to do of your evening and want to enjoy harmless fun without too much thinking, then this is for you. The main story revolves around a trio of cops coming from the minority living in France (1 African Arab, 1 black African and 1 Asian) who are assigned the task to find a serial killer, who kills and rapes women in the french town Villeneuve. Their investigation leads to many comical and absurd situations, which are used to complete the main plot of the movie. Most of the jokes of in the movie are clichés about Islam, Muslims, and minorities in France in general but without being really offensive. I enjoyed also the appearance of the "muscles from Brussels", Jean-Claude Van Damme. It's refreshing to see him in a comedy role for once, and also to see him acting(?) in french again after JCVD. But as I said, not an Oscar material, so do not expect to be amazed by a great story or an incredible acting work despite the presence of some famous french actors (Jugnot, Belasco...)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Warning : possible (quite light) spoiler When I watched this film I was
expecting the usual stuff with French police comedy : actors
overplaying their part (esp. knowing that Booder was the leading
actor), plot so thick that it would have been refused by Besson
himself, clichés, clichés and clichés again...The very start of the
film, with the actors dubbing, just like children, the Paramount and
Orange clips, let me fear the worse (although I found this rather
Yet what a surprise! despite being clearly a comedy, the plot is very clever and serious (you'll need all your subtitle reading capacity to understand it in full I'm afraid, and a second viewing may be necessary to put everything in place), and one can almost see the transformation of Lieutenant Khalid Belkacem, aka Booder, from Arab buffoon lost in the French Police to real, serious police Officer, under the charm and influence of Captain Dianne Dardenne, aka Sandrine Kimberlain...In fact this film clearly oscillates between real police film and real buffoonery, but the mix is very neatly done (which is a characteristic of good french contemporary comedies).
The sets are very well chosen,the direction is very good, and the film has some emotional moments, particularly when Khalid believes he just saw in the latest, unidentifiable victim, Dianne herself, thanks to an element of her clothing.
Although Booder's 2 buddies, of which I didn't even tried to remember the names, are mediocre actors at best, there is a surprising gel between the rest of the distribution and these three ones...Sandrine Kimberlain really lifts this film with her charm...I hear and read over and over that same question : how can French women be so charming, even when they're not hot chicks? Generally I think it's a cliché, but look at her...She's simply wonderfully charming and sexy, yet she'd be expelled from any beauty pageant on the spot!
Now some details about the scenario : A serial killer, dubbed "the Friday killer" has killed three women in the vicinity of a mosque in a dreary, mostly Muslim French suburb of Paris.
At the same time, a young and clueless police intern has tense relations with his future father in law, the chief of the police station ; but fate is unpredictable : for affirmative action reasons, Khalid is named Lieutenant AND given the Friday killer case...Of course, no way in letting this clueless buffoon do it for real, so he is adjoined Captain Dianne Dardenne and her team, from the criminal police Dpt in Paris...But, as the investigation goes, Dianne understands she needs him, and he becomes more and more invested in his role, up to the conclusion of the case.
Trivia : If you want to watch Jean-Claude Van Damne having a small part, in French, and in a comedy, here you are!
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