Sorry, Largo Winch fans, but this is no 10 movie. I will tell you why.
The basic idea about this movie is sound, the Largo Winch comic is pretty good, violent enough (by far) for making an action movie of and has a unique theme, the secret stepson pulled into the world of economy against his will.
I actually like the mix of English and french. It just adds flavor.
Many scenes are visually good. Much nice scenery.
But there are a whole bunch of things that are questionable, and a few that are downright bad.
I don't really mind that the hero doesn't look like Largo Winch, but it seems strange that they have replaced the hero with someone who looks very much like his sidekick (Simon), who is missing in the movie.
I like the comic, and I have seen much worse movie adaptations of comics as well as books. (Judge Dredd, Modesty Blaise.) It seems to me that too many "adaptations" are really made by someone who wanted to make a totally different movie. Judge Dredd was made by someone who wanted to do The Godfather, Modesty Blaise was made by someone who wanted to to Hair. And, ironically, I Robot was made by someone who wanted to to Judge Dredd!
Largo Winch is a mixed bag in this respect. Much of the Winch concept is used (good!), but they also mixed in a whole lot of another story, and that story is Full Throttle! Yes, the video game with Mark Hamill as the villain! That story is also about a company takeover, and unlike the original Winch, Full Throttle has the same basic plot as this movie, and more.
Much of the movie follows the plot in album 1-4, but somewhere along the line the plot switches into another one. Several characters are added to build a whole new plot, and the ending is a straight ripoff from Full Throttle. Actually, too much of the story is just that, a Full Throttle ripoff (a story that was also about taking over a company from the inside). Did we really need that, when the original plot was not a ripoff? Big minus!
Many interesting and central characters are dropped and forgotten. Where are Simon Ovronnaz, Cochrane, Sullivan, Fenimore, Cotton... Only a few characters are kept, Hannah and her husband and Pennywinkle, and instead a whole bunch of new characters are added. Although the concept is not totally ruined (a few of the new characters can be identified as direct replacements to the old ones), too much of the foundations are removed and replaced by something else, which is not better.
Then we have the script and tempo. In many cases, the suspense is lacking, the tempo and scripting is bad. This is where Largo Winch makes itself comparable to newer Bond movies. On several occasions, it makes the "jump up suddenly and say boo" stunt, which is all too common in the new Bond movies. This is not good, it is a sign of amateurish scripting. We have known for years that only poor horror movies work on scaring the audience in such a way. NEVER do that! Instead of the "boo" stunt you should let the viewer know that something is coming, and build suspense. Hitchcock knew this, but all too many new movie makers don't. Largo Winch makes it almost right in the beginning, but later it goes totally off here. The first case is the killing of a guy during the board meeting. A few seconds of warning (music, see an unknown assassin picking up a gun...) would guide us, help us see that something nasty is coming so we get time to prepare. But the movie makers were not professional enough to know that, but make this cheap mistake several times! Wham! Boo! I scared you!
The movie is better than the newer Bond movies, but rather because the new Bond movies are utter garbage very much based on trying to drop its own concept and replacing it with a committee construction, while this at least has some positive merits, especially its own concept which is mostly follows. But it could have been a lot better.
I have looked, briefly, into the TV series, and it looks superior in so many ways. Better casting, all those central characters are retained.
+ Uses the basic theme and background of Largo Winch fairly well. (Hence, quite a bit of action.)
+ Mixes in a lot of french. I like that, this is a french movie.
+ Many scenes are visually good.
- Poor suspense, good opportunities wasted on "boo!" scenes.
- Under-uses the character gallery of the original.
- Obvious Full Throttle ripoff in plot and ending!