6.6/10
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83 user 28 critic

Dobermann (1997)

Dobermann is the world's most ruthless bank robber and with his gang rob bank after bank, now in Paris. What can the police do but to let the mad, morally bankrupt police commissioner loose on him?

Director:

Jan Kounen

Writer:

Joël Houssin
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The story of french gangster Jacques Mesrine, before he was called Public Enemy N°1.

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Stars: Vincent Cassel, Cécile de France, Gérard Depardieu
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Cassel ... Yann Lepentrec dit Le Dob
Tchéky Karyo ... Commissaire Sauveur Cristini
Monica Bellucci ... Nathalie dit Nat la Gitane
Antoine Basler Antoine Basler ... Jean-Claude Ayache dit Moustique
Dominique Bettenfeld ... Elie Frossard dit l'Abbé
Pascal Demolon Pascal Demolon ... Inspecteur Lefèvre
Marc Duret ... Inspecteur Baumann
Romain Duris ... Manu
François Levantal François Levantal ... Léo
Ivan Merat-Barboff Ivan Merat-Barboff ... Inspecteur David Silverberg
Stéphane Metzger Stéphane Metzger ... Olivier Brachet dit Sonia
Chick Ortega Chick Ortega ... Jacky Sueur dit Pitbull
Patrick Rocca Patrick Rocca ... Commissaire Clodarec
Florence Thomassin Florence Thomassin ... Florence
Roland Amstutz ... Oncle Joe, vieux
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Storyline

The charismatic criminal Dobermann, who got his first gun when he was christened, leads a gang of brutal robbers. After a complex and brutal bank robbery, they are being hunted by the Paris police. The hunt is led by the sadistic cop Christini, who only has one goal: to catch Dobermann at any cost. Written by Michael Soderberg <fawlty@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong violence and language, and for drug use and sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 June 1997 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Доберман See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF33,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Jan Kounen: man trapped in the bank doors See more »

Goofs

Inspector Christini says his colleagues wouldn't find Mesrine in a noodle pack. He pronounces "Mesrine" with the "s" but this name is pronounced "Merine" See more »

Quotes

Inspecteur Sauveur Cristini: He's not pissing... he's shitting
See more »

Alternate Versions

Finnish video version is cut by 40 seconds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kiss of the Dragon (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Voices of Lust
Written by Schyzomaniac
Performed by Brune
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excess and consequences
18 May 2018 | by plpregentSee all my reviews

Based on a comic book, Jan Kounen's "Dobermann" is a French crime film that never shies away from taking things to the extreme. Kicking things off with a nice animated intro sequence, Jan Kounen then takes the viewer to the protagonist's (Vincent Cassel) baptism, where a darkly humorous and somewhat twisted situation occurs - I am not giving this one away. Then, Kounen fast forwards to several years later, in the midst of a heist, where you get a first glimpse at how colourful and bold the characters are going to be. Buckle up.

Dobermann's characters are, by far, its strongest asset. The whole film is a relatively classic "cops versus criminals" story, where the line between both camps is not only blurry - it becomes totally nonexistent. Cristini (Tcheky Karyo), described by his colleagues as a "nazi", is a twisted, ultraviolent, vicious police officer who's become obsessed with the Dobermann clan that keeps robbing one bank after another. Fed up with watching his colleagues clumsily fail to catch the Dobermann and his pals, he decides to take extreme measures to get the job done.

This culminates in an adrenaline-pumping, lengthy final sequence in which bodies pile up to the loud sound of Prodigy and the likes, and unfolding in some vividly demented - almost surreal - nightclub. To give you an idea of the colorful palette of characters that awaits you, you also get the Dobermann's girlfriend, a mute, sadistic nympho; Pitbull and Moustique, two hardened criminals whose temper is quickly exposed when they play a tennis game; a priest who carries a Bible in which he hides grenades; Cristini's sidekick cop, who's just a huge fan of his boss; Sonia, a drag queen...and the list goes on.

Filled with dark humour almost from start to finish, Dobermann packs hilarious dialogue, cool aesthetics, costumes, and overall cinematography, plenty of violence which, despite never being particularly graphic, sometimes comprises very disturbing situations - again, I am not giving anything away. While the bloodletting is moderate, the inherent nature of many characters, especially Cristini, is extremely violent. In that regard, I have to say, Cristini is perhaps one of the craziest villains (yes, that's how blurry the line gets) I have ever seen in a film. Tcheky Karyo is absolutely bone-chilling in this flick.

While there isn't all that much to interpret about this film, the very last sequence almost feels like a hangover after a night of excess. And that's exactly what Dobermann is: excessive in its visuals, from the lighting to the characters' gun designs; excessive in its violence, from the characters' nature to some of the very inventive killings it puts on display; excessive in its soundtrack, with plenty of techno music playing out loud; and excessive in its direction and editing, from an amazing split-screen sequence to camera movements and shots delivering images that appear to be taken out of a comic book strip.

The pace of the film is not constantly frenetic, though. And that might be the only downside. However, trust me, the 25 final minutes of this film are complete insanity. I can understand why this is a cult favourite: it has many memorable moments, characters, all-out action and a dark sense of humour that make it unique.


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