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 Empire of the Wolves
 Critic's Rating
   [D+]
 Date Posted
   13th September, 2005
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Cast: Jean Reno, Arly Jover, Jocelyn Quivrin
Director: Chris Nahon

What do you get if you throw a big chunk of "Se7en," two tablespoons of "Total Recall" and a pinch of "The Manchurian Candidate"? Fertiliser? Close. The correct answer is "Empire of the Wolves," a film that exists to impress the disciples of the MTV age: cool kids who dig funky soundtracks, ninja fights and general disregard for plot. Jean Reno is the proverbial MacGuffin because you have his visage over every poster, his name in each press release and on any promotional material related to this film. But his role is not substantial; it is almost a cameo delivered by him for what is an irrefutable fact to pay for his monthly utilities.

Reno plays Jean-Louis Schifferis, a washed up cop who was relieved of his duty because of his Gestapo-like procedures. Think Morgan Freeman's Detective Somerset from "Se7en" with no morals, and on speed. Jean is asked to come out of his exile when mutilated dead bodies of innocent women start showing up in the city's gutters. Paul (Jocelyn Quivrin) is our rookie cop; his duty is to essentially imitate Brad Pitt's Detective Mills character as best as he can. Paul must work with Jean and catch the elusive serial killer. Of course, by the film's end, life lessons will be learnt and Paul will come to the full realisation that this world is one big toilet with no flush handle. Yawn...

I will not go into the main plot which also involves the delicate, beautiful Arly Jover (playing Anna) a woman with a rehabilitating brain condition that may or may not be amnesia. Of course routine examinations require her to take off her clothes and then there is the occasional shower scene. But I am sure this was absolutely necessary for character development. Actually, no, I take it back. This is not a complaint at all! Anna's fate is somehow linked to Paul and Jean's investigation which will lead them through a maze of socio-political gobbledygook and somehow end up in the deserts of Turkey. Yes, don't ask.

Know this. "Empire of the Wolves" is not a terrible film per se. It is technically accomplished and has actors that are trying hard (really, really hard) to sell the ridiculousness of the story. Except Jean Reno who basically chews scenery. This makes me think that may be Reno is the real genius because he understood all this. So be smart. Just like Reno. He made money with this film, and if you listen to me, you can at least save yours. - Adnan Khan

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