Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jason and Shawn review: The Crimson Rivers and Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse

The Crimson Rivers


A fun throwback to 80s-style buddy cop movies like Lethal Weapon with a nice infusion of 90s serial-killer thrillers like Seven. Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel share a great chemistry and the story moves along at fast enough of a pace that the viewer doesn't realize none of it makes any sense. Some nice action scenes, especially a martial arts battle with a couple of skinheads, and a series of serial murders that are preposterous but effective. The film is highly entertaining despite its flaws, and Reno is always watchable. Hell, he made Godzilla good. And this one rates a Good as well.


Violence and grisly images my ass! There wasn't anything in here worse than an episode of CSI. The film starts off slow and I was wondering how I was going to make it through one of these, let alone two. Then Cassel gets into a martial arts battle with some alleged skinheads and things take off. It's like a French Lethal Weapon with a serial killer instead of drug runners, which is probably why it turned out pretty good. Not Good good, but Bad good, and that's good enough.

Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse


Foreign films usually find a way to bland my day, but having been surprised by the first one, I was kinda looking forward to the sequel. And I was pleasantly surprised to see Reno's new sidekick bust out some martial arts during the first 10 minutes. A good fight, despite the shaky camera. The plot had the kind of conspiracy theory stuff, including a search for the Book of God or something,  that I like. And there was more action. I even kinda got what the plot was about, which Jay and our guest Shane Woodford didn't. It's Bad, but I sort of liked it better than the first.


A typically Hollywood approach to a sequel: take everything that worked in the first and amp it up. The film has more action and killing and a plot that is even more nonsensical. It all works to the point that I was never bored with Angels of the Apocalypse, but none of it makes a lick of sense. In fact, I think it was written by five-year-olds. Cassel is gone, so Reno has no one fun to work off of. Camille Natta looks great, but her role as a religious expert is pretty thankless. A let down after how good the first film was. A Bad rating for me.

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