The film opens interestingly, almost Matrix-like, as a woman (Arly Jover) is seen undergoing some kind of treatment for amnesia -- she can remember just about everyone except her husband. Increasingly suspicious and susceptible to flashbacks, she help from a psychiatrist who turns her on to the scars behind her ears and on her scalp. An x-ray reveals she's full of metal pins. Someone has done a major plastic surgery number on the gal. An hour into the 128-minute affair we get the film's primary revelation: Jover's Anna was once Turkish!
As ridiculous as that is, it only gets worse from there. Reno and his parter Jocelyn Quivrin (that's a man, baby) through a twisty maze of secret societies, gangs, illegal immigrants, mind control, and an absurd set of circumstances that could end with a Turkish woman being facially reconstructed and brainwashed into believing she's a demure French lass.
Somehow it took a novel and four screenwriters (including the novelist, who gets no slack here) to come up with this sad attempt to make the Turkish mafia a cinematic force on par with the Italian mafia or the Japanese yakuza. It doesn't work. True or not, the film makes the Turks look like a bunch of buffoons who couldn't run a crime organization if their lives depended on it -- and, apparently, it does.
The only way to make this film any worse is to listen to the dubbed version, which turns Reno's deep growl into a lilting voice that wouldn't be out of place on an episode of Friends.
Aka L'Empire des loups.
Run time: 128 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 20th April 2005
Box Office Worldwide: $11.9M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Production compaines: Gaumont, TF1 Films Production, Kairos, Canal+
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
IMDB: 5.9 / 10
Director: Chris Nahon
Producer: Patrice Ledoux
Starring: Jean Reno as Jean-Louis Schiffer, Arly Jover as Anna Heymes, Jocelyn Quivrin as Paul Nerteaux, Laura Morante as Mathilde Uran, Philippe du Janerand as Le légiste, Philippe Bas as Laurent, Didier Sauvegrain as Dr. Ackerman, Patrick Floersheim as Philippe Charlier, Etienne Chicot as Olivier Amien, Albert Dray as Le lieutenant, Vernon Dobtcheff as Kudseyi, Élodie Navarre as La fliquette, Corentin Koskas as L'interne, Jean-Pierre Martins as Professeur Ravi
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