Dobermann (1997)

Dobermann (1997)
  • 16823
  • R
  • Genre: Action
  • Release year: 1997 ()
  • Running time: 103 min
  • Original Title: Dobermann
  • Voted: 16823

The charismatic criminal Dobermann, who got his first gun when he was christened, leads a gang of brutal robbers. After a complex and brutal bank robbery, they are being hunted by the Paris police. The hunt is led by the sadistic cop Christini, who only has one goal: to catch Dobermann at any cost.

1Vincent CasselYann Lepentrec dit Le Dob
2Tchéky KaryoCommissaire Sauveur Cristini
3Monica BellucciNathalie dit Nat la Gitane
4Antoine BaslerJean-Claude Ayache dit Moustique
  • Best 'live action comic book' ever made by 10

    Dobermann is one of the best 'live action comic books' ever made, IMO. The characters, the cinematography, the dialogue and the violence all have the comic book 'feel' - ultra-stylised and larger than life, and full of very black humour.

    The movie is basically a heist movie, with Dobermann himself (Vince Cassell) and his band of unlikely partners plotting a robbery, and pulling it off... but getting bad-ass cop Cristini (Tcheky Karyo) on their tale for their troubles.

    The movie is exceptionally well done - clearly a lot of love went into it from director Jan Kounen and from the cast. Some of the camera work is utterly unique and stunning, and the performances all round are excellent. Tcheky Karyo is particularly memorable - his role in KISS OF THE DRAGON was basically his DOBERMANN character watered down to about 1%. Dobermann himself is perhaps the least well developed character, remaining pretty detached and enigmatic throughout.

    There's lots of sharp dialogue and bits of absurdity that will obviously draw comparisons to Tarantino. This all leads to some action setpieces that are very very nicely done, including a stunning and extended climax.

    This is the 3rd time I've watched the movie, and I enjoy it more each time. Watched it at work last night with a pretty large group, and couldn't help wondering if it was a movie that showed cultural differences between the US and Europe. The Europeans & even a Canadian in the room were sat grinning from ear to ear from start to finish, all loving it... but the Americans in the room just didn't seem to 'get it' at all. They all seemed to be taking it much too seriously, and struggling terribly with the idea of an "anti-hero". The fact that Dobermann has killed an innocent man before he speaks his first line of dialogue seemed to give them trouble. Perhaps this is a European thing, along with the black humour. The difference in response between the Americans and the rest really was noticable.

    But, perhaps it's just a coincidence - and some people from any country are always going to miss the point on these things. If you like your heroes dirty, your characters about 3 times larger than life, your camera restless, your dialogue cynical and vicious and your violence explosive... then Dobermann is a wonderful movie you should definitely track down.

  • Unique fast-paced French comic-book action with supercool editing! by 9

    Starting off with a slow scene at the baptism of Dobermann, whos real name is Yann, it then takes you on a action-trip to hell - and never back!

    The first 30 minutes of the film have super-cool editing, but then the story gets overhand (which is good) and the shooting starts to slow down... When the bank-robbing-action is at it's best, the suspense and high-quality filming really is unique. At the final scene the shoot-out is grotesqly well done and can only be compared to early John Woo-Hong Kong flicks... Nothing made in the US can compare to this truly adorable movie. Maybe KILLING ZOE may compare in violence, but not in acting...

    The scene when Yann and his girlfriend is talking with sign-language only is one of the best scenes in this movie - even though it has no action, no words and only a humming noice...

    Nice movie that should be seen only by those who can stand grim action that looks real. It's a hard movie to watch for some people, but it has great qualities, very nice filming and spectacular direction and editing! Watch out for some nice laughs as well... if you have that sick dark kind of humor, that is... :-)

    9 out of 10!

  • Violent, nihilistic. But so cool. by 9

    People have compared Dobermann to Tarantino's stuff, but I think it's much more similar to Luc Besson's Leon / crossed with Baz Luhrmann's direction in the opening of Romeo & Juliet.

    Great comic-book angles and poses, larger-than-life characters, comic-book violence, Prodigy soundtrack.. Brilliant stuff.

    Very cool theme, and great CGI opening credits (worth a mention on their own). I couldn't work out why Tcheky Karyo says about 3/4 of his lines in accented English, but who cares.

    It's uncomplicated, violent, stylish mayhem, and it's great.

  • Nutzoid. by 9

    Crazy and fun and psychotic. Jan Kounen's high-octane Dobermann is a graphic novel come to life. Expertly directed, shot and acted. Every character is pretty much certifiable, and they exist in a world that is truly bats**t crazy.

    Anarchic, and freaking excellent.

  • The faint of heart need not apply... by 7


    Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

    Sound formats: Dolby Digital / DTS

    A psychotic police detective (Tchéky Karyo) pursues a gang of armed robbers led by the ultra-charismatic 'Dobermann' (Vincent Cassel).

    A colossal one-fingered salute to the bland, homogenised pap dominating international cinema at the time of its release, DOBERMANN not only set debut director Jan Kounen on the road to cinematic glory, it also helped kickstart an aggressive upsurge in ultra-commercial European cinema (the "Taxi" series, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, CRIMSON RIVERS, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, etc.), begun two years earlier by Mathieu Kassovitz's equally subversive LA HAINE (1995). Fans of political correctness need not apply: DOBERMANN is loud, excessive, obnoxious and morally ambiguous in equal measure, and while some viewers may be unable to reconcile themselves to the action and violence of Kounen's raucous worldview, others should cling onto their seats and prepare for the ride of a lifetime...

    As the above plot synopsis attests, Kounen and scriptwriter Jo?l Houssin (upon whose pulp novels the film is based) have stripped the plot down to its barest essentials and constructed a series of instantly recognisable character-types (saint, sinner, braggart, dimwit, etc.), thereby liberating Kounen to indulge his true objectives: To push the boundaries of cinema to their absolute limits. DOBERMANN is a swirling tornado of audiovisual delights which unfolds via shock cuts, hurtling camera-work, loud explosions and in-yer-face action set-pieces, a heady mixture of Hollywood gloss and Hong Kong stuntwork ramped to the max. You want subtle? Try Merchant Ivory. THIS movie wants to gouge your eyes out!!

    The cast is toplined by French superstars Cassel and Monica Bellucci (they married in 1999), playing the antihero and his ultra-loyal partner in crime, and they both manage to carve a niche amidst the film's visual excesses, while Dobermann's misfit gang includes Stéphane Metzger (TRANSFIXED) as a beautiful drag queen who supports his loving, unsuspecting wife and family via prostitution. But the movie is stolen clean away by Karyo as the deranged cop on Dobermann's tail, an irredeemable psycho who's prepared to break every rule - legal and moral - to bring his nemesis to book. However, the audience's loyalties are tested when one of Dobermann's gang (the 'good' guys) shoots an inexperienced rookie cop for no other reason than he happens to be within range during a bank robbery, an incident which pegs the characters as dispensable lowlife scum. But this outrage is balanced by a subsequent scene in which Karyo (the 'bad' guy) invades a birthday party and forces Metzger to betray Dobermann's whereabouts by threatening the younger man's newborn child, before revealing Metzger's drag queen alter ego to his horrified, clueless family. Though the scene is cruel and uncompromising, Kounen isn't interested in queer-bashing a sympathetic character, merely demonstrating the moral corruption of Karyo's villainous detective; the drag queen is written and played with quiet dignity, and Metzger's 'fate' for betraying Dobermann under duress is both amusing and redemptive...

    Houssin's scenario builds to a frenzied showdown in a fancy nightclub, where Dobermann's gang defend themselves against an army of gun-toting police officers, and Karyo finally confronts his mortal enemy, culminating in an explosion of horrific violence. You have been warned! In fact, the script's antisocial attitude is perhaps a little TOO crude and excessive in places, but the director signals his intentions late in the film when a drug-addled gangster goes to the toilet and uses pages from 'Cahiers du Cinema' to, er... clean up after himself (if you catch my drift)! Tired of adhering to the established confines of critical acceptability, Kounen and his production team have fashioned an instant cult classic, one which defies convention and spits in the face of diplomacy. Acting and technical credits are top-notch throughout.

    (French dialogue)

2Jan Kounendirector
3Marc Baschetproducer
4Frédérique Dumas-Zajdelaproducer
5Éric Névéproducer
6Joël Houssinwriter