Robert Deman

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Papillon Review


Very Good
There's a lot to like about Papillon. Compared to the witless blockbusters of today, with their explosions and CGI trickery, Papillon is the type of outsized escapist adventure tale that Hollywood once had down pat. It's well acted, gorgeously shot, and generally exciting -- all of which makes its mediocrity an even greater disappointment.

The trouble lies in its placement in the evolution of the Hollywood action film. Papillon is a transitional species. At the same time it soars on old-fashioned virtue, it also suffers from modern vice. Its 150-minute running time, false endings, and mind-numbing repetitions make it an early predecessor of the indulgent blockbuster of today.

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