A monk is found walled up alive in an eccentric monastery, and Inspector Niemans (JeanReno) is on the case. Murders multiply around the country, connecting the cases worked on byNiemans and a young hotshot (Benoit Magimel, whose role is very similar to the one played byVincent Cassell in the original). The victims are all deeply religious, were all disciples of asurvivor who bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Jesus, and have the names andprofessions of the Disciples. They mur…erers are cowled monks possessed of apparentlysuperhuman strength and agility. What does all this have to do with the old underground tunnelsand defences of the Maginot Line? And what role does a German diplomat (Christopher Lee,demonstrating excellent French) have to play in all this?
The answers are confusing and/or disappointing. After a promisingly creepy start, the film(unfortunately saddled by a Luc Besson script) becomes increasingly incomprehensible andridiculous, culminating in a sub-Indiana Jones conclusion and neo-Nazi villainy of the most tiredsort. The visuals, though, are terrific, and the action scenes exciting. Not a patch on the first film,however.
The sound is most impressive, and right from the opening seconds at that, as a rain stormthunders away on all sides. The sense of immersion is constant through out the film. Theseparation might not be as obvious as some other releases, but this is only a minor cavil givenhow thoroughly one is plunged into the atmosphere of the film. Meanwhile, the dialogue neverdistorts.
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer boasts terrific colours, and great blacks, thoughit does tend to get a bit murky at times. There is no grain or edge enhancement, and the imageis sharp (while at the same time frequently boasting a soft, glowing aura — an interesting look,as you’ll see).
There are six (subtitled) featurettes here. One is a general making-of, while the others focuson, respectively, lighting, weapons, production design, corpses, and sound design. They are all anotch or two above the usual promotional material. There’s one deleted scene (the strip barsequence that is compulsory for all cop thrillers), and trailers for the feature plus Tae GukGi: The Brotherhood of War, The Fifth Element Ultimate Edition and Leon: TheProfessional. The menu is basic.
Equal parts stylish, entertaining, and disappointing, this is a fun time-waster, but a definiteletdown all the same.
Special Features List
- 6 Featurettes
- Deleted Scene