Saturday, February 14, 2015

Revenge? Ridiculous. Philippe Martinez's VIKTOR stars Gérard Depardieu and Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley looks simply great (middle-aged, yes, but gorgeous) in Philippe Martinez's revenge-sated would-be noir, VIKTOR, which doubles as the name of the movie's main character, played by Gérard Depardieu -- who looks fat. Very fat. When the two stars make love, mid-movie, you fear for Ms Hurley's life. Since Viktor, the movie, is very much in the revenge/action genre, you may wonder, too, how M. Depardieu will handle those "action" scenes. Hint: He doesn't.

There's a car chase early on in which Depardieu is being pursued by the bad guys when, suddenly, the filmmaker (M. Martinez is shown at left) simply cuts to the next scene. Huh? He then has a character explain how he outdrove the bad guys, and then, what? Viktor got out of the car and ran so fast and quickly from the location that he was able to escape? Yeah, right.

The revenge here has to do with the death of Viktor's son, and how our "hero" gets even, taking down bad guy after bad guy until only the top baddie remains. From the outset, this movie is so entirely paint-by-numbers and the revenge so darned easy to get that the film often falls into unintentional camp. However, it is filled with swank locations -- hotel, clubs, restaurants (wealthy bad guys always frequent the best, right? -- and when Viktor goes to visit his son's grave, we even get some gorgeous countryside locations, as well.

That dead son also had a girlfriend who has a secret of her own, and soon Viktor must protect her life (while taking a bunch of others). Along the way, we get an assassination (by the hot number, below), who gets her comeuppance via the very guy who hired her to do the job.

There is also a piece of very valuable missing art that Viktor evidently stole way back when -- he's been in prison for a time, you see -- and a pretty, no-nonsense policewoman (below) on the trail of that art. (Note the nod to that puny little dictator, Putin, that portrait of whom also appears prominently in the current arthouse hit Leviathan.)

We even get some nasty torture, too, by Depardieu, below, who clearly appreciates the bullying of the leader of his chosen new country. (When French taxes proved too high for this major monied man, the actor moved to Russia, where he was given citizenship: One expert bully can always spot another, right?)

And so it goes for 97 too-long minutes. The initial movie, according to the IMDB, ran 134 minutes, so U.S. viewers should consider themselves lucky.

In any case, Viktor -- via Inception Media Group -- has now been released on DVD, VOD and even streaming from Netflix (and perhaps elsewhere, too). If this is the kind of swank and silly swill Depardieu (formerly a very fine actor) plans to churn out in Russia, he and his newly adopted country deserve each other.

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