The Promise (2016)

The Promise
Director: Terry George
Writer: Terry George, Robin Swicord
Cast: Oscar IsaacCharlotte Le BonChristian BaleDaniel Giménez CachoShohreh AghdashlooMarwan KenzariAngela SarafyanTom HollanderJean Reno
Seen on: 22.8.2017
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Plot:
Mikael (Oscar Isaac) wants nothing more than to become a doctor. So he travels to Constantinople, where he can stay with his uncle, and starts studying. Also staying with his uncle is the beautiful Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), a French dance instructor who teaches Mikael’s nieces. Mikael and Ana hit it off, but Ana is already dating American journalist Chris (Christian Bale). The love triangle that ensues is interrupted, though, when the political situation in the Ottoman Empire shifts, war is declared and Mikael, as an Armenian, finds himself in grave peril.

The Promise tells an important story, but unfortunately it doesn’t tell it particularly well, making it feel way too long and less engaging and devastating than it should have been.

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Re-Watch: Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible
Director: Brian De Palma
Writer: David Koepp, Steven Zaillian
Based on: The TV Series
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Béart, Henry Czerny, Jean Reno, Ving Rhames, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vanessa Redgrave
Seen on: 03.08.2015

Plot:
Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is part of a team of spies led by Jim Phelps (Jon Voight). Their newest mission is supposed to prevent the sale of classified material. But things go very wrong and Ethan’s entire team is killed. All but Jim’s wife Claire (Emmanuelle Béart) that is. When Ethan’s loyalty is called into question and he is suspected of killing them off himself, he knows that he has to uncover and solve this mystery. Together with Claire, they ask Franz (Jean Reno) and Luther (Ving Rhames) for help, both disavowed agents and they take on the case.

Mission: Impossible follows the spy formula to the letter and while the plot doesn’t offer much that’s new, the execution is beautiful, although not exactly flawless.

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Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)

Hector and the Search for Happiness
Director: Peter Chelsom
Writer: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay
Based on: François Lelord‘s novel Le voyage d’Hector ou la recherche du bonheur
Cast: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgård, Toni ColletteVeronica Ferres, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer

Plot:
Hector (Simon Pegg) is a psychiatrist with a well-going practice and a beautiful girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike). But he is stuck in his routine and his safety and his mind keeps wandering back to the “One Who Got Away” (Toni Collette). So he decides that he needs to go on a trip to look for the secret to happiness. Alone, leaving Clara quite take aback. He starts in China but his search will take him to quite a few places.

Hector and the Search for Happiness was perfectly nice, in the slightly derogatory meaning of nice. There was nothing very wrong about it, but nothing very right, either.

Hector-And-The-Search-For-Happiness[SPOILERS]

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Margaret (2011)

Margaret
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Anna Paquin, J. Smith-Cameron, Jeannie Berlin, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Jean Reno, Allison Janney, Kieran Culkin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Matthew Broderick, Olivia Thirlby, Matt Bush, Michael Ealy
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Lisa (Anna Paquin) is a normal teenager until the day she co-causes a bus accident by distracting the driver (Mark Ruffalo). The bus hits and kills Monica (Allison Janney), leaving Lisa distraught and unsettled. Unable to find another outlet for her feelings of guilt, she gets on a crusade to get recompensation for Monica’s death, while everything around her keeps spiraling out of control.

Margaret is 2 1/2 hours long and you get to feel every minute of it.* It’s 2 1/2 hours of an hysteric teenager and emotionally incompetent adults, a combination that is at the same time boring and nerve-wrecking. What it isn’t, is enjoyable.

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Comme un chef [The Chef] (2012)

Comme un chef
Director: Daniel Cohen
Writer: Daniel Cohen
Cast: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué, Julien Boisselier
Part of: Festival du film francophone

Plot:
Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn) is a passionate chef. Unfortunately his passion is a bit over the top and keeps on costing him his jobs. Since his girlfriend Béatrice (Raphaëlle Agogué) is too far along in her pregnancy to work anymore, Jacky has to take any job he can find. Which happens to be as a painter in a retirement home. But of all things, that’s where he’s discovered by Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno), star cook. Alexandre is struggling with the new management in his restaurant who think that he’s the culinary equivalent of a dinosaur. But maybe Jacky and Alexandre can help each other.

Comme un chef is good fun. It’s not an amazingly deep film and it won’t really surprise you, but it will make you smile and even laugh and it will entertain.

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L’immortel [22 Bullets] (2010)

L’immortel is Richard Berry‘s newest film, based on Franz-Olivier Giesbert‘s book, starring Jean Reno, Marina Foïs and Kad Merad.

Plot:
Basically, 22 Bullets is Kill Bill with Jean Reno instead of Uma Thurman: Charly (Jean Reno) is a retired mafia man. He lives a calm life with his family but suddenly there’s a massive attack on his life and Charly gets hit 22 times. But he survives. As he slowly recovers, he tries to understand what happened, who attacked him and why. And he wants to get revenge.

22 Bullets is firmly set in its genre conventions. There is nothing exciting, new or extraordinary about it – but it’s a very nice, practically textbook example of a revenge thriller that works fine. You know, it’s that kind of film.

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