5.8/10
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Les anges gardiens (1995)

Gerard Depardieu plays a sleazy Paris nightclub owner and ex-detective who flies to Hong Kong to rescue the young son of a friend murdered by the Chinese mob. He leaves the boy in the hands... See full summary »

Director:

Jean-Marie Poiré
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gérard Depardieu ... Antoine Carco / Son ange gardien
Christian Clavier ... Père Hervé Tarain / Son ange gardien
Eva Grimaldi ... Regina Podium
Yves Rénier ... Yvon Radmilo dit « la pince »
Alexandre Eskimo Alexandre Eskimo ... Bao
Laurent Gendron Laurent Gendron ... Lucky
Eva Herzigova ... Tchouk Tchouk Nougat (as Eva Hertzigova)
Jean Champion Jean Champion ... Grand-père du Père Tarain
Anna Gaylor Anna Gaylor ... Mère du Père Hervé Tarain
Nathalie Sejean Nathalie Sejean ... Maryse
Jennifer Herrera Jennifer Herrera ... Luna
Dominique Marcas Dominique Marcas ... Mère Angelina
Ysé Tran Ysé Tran ... Lily Wang
Stéphanie Jaubert Stéphanie Jaubert ... Yasmina
William Miale William Miale ... Johnny
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Storyline

Gerard Depardieu plays a sleazy Paris nightclub owner and ex-detective who flies to Hong Kong to rescue the young son of a friend murdered by the Chinese mob. He leaves the boy in the hands of an earnest priest (Christian Clavier), who escorts him back to Paris. Soon Clavier and Depardieu are fighting it out, each shadowed by his good or evil guardian angel. Written by A Verdade

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English | Cantonese | Italian

Release Date:

11 October 1995 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Os Anjos da Guarda See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The Hong Kong-Paris flight is said to land in Paris at 5:30AM local time. It takes-off during daylight, but with an approximate flight time of 13 1/2 hours and the time zone difference, the plane should have left Hong Kong at around 10:00PM local time (when it would have been dark). See more »

Crazy Credits

Bloopers shown with the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The VHS version in Spanish cropped the aspect ratio to 1.50:1 keeping only the original 2.35:1 for the opening and ending credits. See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Doux Jesus
Performed by Les Petits Chanteurs d'Asnières
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Close to "The Visitors" time-wise, closer to its dreadful sequel quality-wise...
30 April 2016 | by ElMaruecan82See all my reviews

Two years after the knight Godefroy and his servant Jacquouille turned a quarter of French population into theaters' "visitors", Jean-Marie Poiré and Christian Clavier strike again as respectively director and actor/co-writer of "The Guardian Angels", with Gérard Depardieu instead of Jean Reno as second lead.

Depardieu didn't make many comedies after "The Fugitives", final opus of his trilogy with Francis Veber co-starring Pierre Richard, so everyone was expecting a fantastic duo made of this colossal actor with the then giant of French comedy, and true successor of Louis de Funès, especially with such promising material: a priest and a sleazy nightclub boss haunted by their 'consciences', following the classical comic trope of the inner angel and devil… with an interesting variation. Being the good 'bad guy', Depardieu as Carco, is harassed by the voice of his good conscience, himself dressed as a mild-mannered curly-haired golf player, and Clavier as Father Tarain by his evil counterpart, a punk version of himself with a rocker's hairstyle and a conventional priest suit.

So when the trailers spread on screens, with four Clavier and Depardieu for the price of two, everyone expected a hit and the film indeed ended in second position after "The Three Brothers". But we'd be aware of it if box-office stats were the measure of quality. Three years later, Poiré would again make a hit with the "Visitors" sequel but the film wasn't a masterpiece for all that. Speaking of which, "The Guardian Angels", has so much capitalized on the success of "The Visitors", borrowing many elements from the odd couple, big/short guy, buffoon/straight man, abundance of special effects so defining of the mid-90's and the escapist value that it foresaw the disastrously low quality of the sequel, all flash and no substance, to use a hackneyed expression.

Contrarily to Veber's classics, there's no official clown and no official straight man, Clavier starts with surprising restraint as Father Tarain, but as the plot advances, a few "Visitors"' mimics invade his acting, and it's only because his counterpart is a carbon-copy of Jacquouille that Tarain remains acceptably serious by comparison. Depardieu, on the other hand, starts as the usual no-nonsense tough guy typical of his movies with Pierre Richard, but then he gets so wrapped up in the crazy and fast-paced rhythm of the action that he spends the whole time running, driving, shouting and getting excited, and it's so over-the-top that it's painfully unfunny. And the entrance of his guardian angel, which is supposed to be a highlight, is the best illustration of what goes wrong with the film.

First, it comes at a point where the dynamics between Tarain and Carco were working well. So the entrance of the guardian angels had to boost or improve the comedy. Unfortunately, they all rely on the same joke: they appear then their self tries to kick them out but end up making a fool of themselves. It's a one-note humor without any originality to redeem it. When Carco's conscience pops up in the car, Depardieu screams. He stops the car, a car hits him from behind then another, and then it's a series of endless collisions. It's not a gag, it's a stunt. And Poiré seems to love them so much I wonder if the action was supposed to serve the comedy, or the opposite.

But it seems like Poiré was so carried away by "The Visitors" success that he went no-holds barred with his film, and fulfilled insecure French directors' wet dream: making an American film. So we get the Chinese Triads, chases in markets and shootouts as plot ornaments, not to mention shameless product placements and other well-spotted angles on Carco's dancers. Even Carco's wife had to be played by a distractingly beautiful, but relatively unknown actress named Eva Grimaldi, who spends most the time shouting at her husband, and end up forgiving him at the end. Why not picking a French actress (beautiful too) who could make us care for her personality, rather than her (so perfect) body? This is as cheap as visual gags consisting on Tarain looking at Eva Herzigova's boobs, or his counterpart taking a woman's skirt off or hot water spilling over an old woman's legs. This is not even the level of slapstick, this is just mean-spirited childishness and we smile in the best case.

It comes to a point where the only good moments are the quiet ones between Carco and Tarain, when they talk about morals and religion, and especially when Carco pretends to be Catholic. These are a few moments of Veberian touch that cut abruptly to the action. Indeed, the film follows such a fast-paced storyline, even the quiet or dialogs scenes are treated like action sequences, short cuts, fast editing, and the linking between the different part of a same dialogs, reveals a very disjointed editing. Poire mixed up comical timing with fast pace to a point you get seasick. Sometimes, it's even cringe-worthy as you have a boy who makes a sad face because he lost his father and a few seconds later, smiling and having fun with other kids. Even a comedy is to be taken seriously as a story.

But I guess this is the reason why they show you the bloopers at the end, a way to tell you, well this is just a film so there's no need to get over-analytical if it was worth the price of your ticket and pop-corn box. Or maybe it's a way to justify the lousy editing, the actors had so hard time to keep straight faces, that they had to make several shots, more than average, that's actually typical of Poiré and "The Visitors" broke a record on that matter.

Well, this sure ain't in the same level, but at least the bloopers show that actors had a good time playing together, a pity many viewers couldn't say the same.


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