- Winning example of style over substance 3/11/2006 12:00:00 AM by LARSONRD
Stylish and compelling mystery thriller along the lines of the CRIMSON RIVERS series, staring the consistently likable Jean Reno as a retired detective recruited back to assist a young Captain who is investigating a series of cruel murders of female Turkish immigrants which are suspected to involve a cadre of Turkish terrorists known as the Gray Wolves; meanwhile Arty Jover very well portrays a young amnesiac woman married to another police investigator who learns disturbing truths about her past ? with both stories eventually merging in a thrilling climax that works despite some inherent preposterousness. Film is very well directed by Chris Nahon who lends a great deal of visual stylization to the storytelling; the storyline is somewhat convoluted but nonetheless becomes quite engrossing that the film works as an interesting and entertaining thriller, enhanced by impressive effects and an atmospheric musical sound design (five composers are credited). A winning example of style over substance, film is very enjoyable for the undiscriminating.
- If Like Action Thrillers, You'll love this 10/2/2006 12:00:00 AM by northwatuppa
First let's get a couple of things straight. This movie is dark, unsweetened European chocolate for the mind, pure and simple. It makes about as much sense as a Jerry Bruckheimer film. Or maybe the average John Woo movie. Which is to say, it only makes sense as entertainment--the purest form of escapist entertainment. Now that we have that out in the open ....
This lengthy film is handsomely mounted and well-executed. High production values in evidence throughout. It is well-written and well-acted. It is visually attractive and atmospheric. It is absorbing and there is not a dull moment in it.
The plot is a mix of serial killer movie, extreme political thriller, crazed Nazi doctor movie, secret "anti-terrorist" police movie, medical science fiction and old cop/young cop partner movie. But they mix all this stuff up together quite enjoyably. Like Jerry Bruckheimer, Tony Scott and John Woo films, it really shouldn't work, but it really does.
Reno is great as a dangerous, rather brutal and grizzled rogue cop gotten out of "retirement" by an obsessed young cop to solve a series of grisly murders. The actor playing the young cop acquits himself well. The cast of villains and victims is convincing and compelling. The dialogue is good quality and there are twists and turns aplenty. Keeps you guessing until the last scene.
We are taken on a wild and dark and violent ride through the grim underworld of human traffickers in the Turkish slums of Paris (at least I think it was Paris).
Anyway, whoever made this movie really set out to entertain an audience. I think they succeeded admirably.
Turn on the movie, turn off your mind and enjoy yourself.
- One of the better movies I have seen in a while. 12/16/2006 12:00:00 AM by pal-o-lo
Well, I am certainly getting more and more impressed with the acting skills of Jean Reno, that's for sure! He shifts so easily between hero and villain. In this movie one never quite figured which one he was. At least I didn't. And the other actors, whom i am sad to say I don't know, did their part almost as good. All in all it was top notch acting all around, and that is seldom to see in an action/thriller. Usually it is the lead man or woman that carries the movie on his/her shoulder.
And the story went in so many different directions that I was kept on the tip of my toes for all of the movie.
The script was very tightly written, the pace never dulled, and the foreboding atmosphere brought forth by magnificent use of camera and lighting, went as a red thread through it all. It made me believe this was something it was not.
The reason I am giving Empire of The Wolves a strong 8, instead of a pure 10, is because of the scientific mumbo jumbo. It was the only part that seemed a little off. It was just a bit too much science fiction like. Now i love a good science fiction flick as much as the other guy, but it did not quite fit in here, i feel. They should have come up with something a bit more realistic. It isn't that easy to mess with memories.
And yes, i know that it probably were made that way on purpose, to throw the watcher off the scent, as was certain other unrealistic elements in the movie, that I won't go further into. But i feel they fit better with the mood of the movie.
Anyway, if you haven't seen Empire of The Wolves, do it as soon as you can. Because this is still a seriously well made movie. It is a shame it has such relatively low rating on the IMDb. It deserves better.
- Pretty good. 4/19/2006 12:00:00 AM by stormruston
Not a bad action/thriller.
A bit slow for a action movie, and not quite thrilling enough for a thriller. Still the action sequences were well done and some of the fighting sequences verged on excellent.
The story was slightly far fetched and tho the writers tried for twists it was really very straight forward.
Jean Reno was good as always and I thought Jocelyn Quivrin was excellent.
This movie was like a cross between "the borne identity", "seven" and 100 average cop movies.
Worth a watch id you like Jean Reno.
- Better than I expected..Considering the reviews 1/23/2006 12:00:00 AM by PatrynXX
I keep finding myself liking French action movies more than Hollywood films. Not that I hate Hollywood action films. This particular movie is good at one thing. Escapism. Pure escapism. The plot is so so, but the movie is such that almost 2 hours go by and I've hardly noticed.
This movie is much better than The Crimson Rivers 2. Although I love the character in that movie. Jean Reno's beard in this one is a lil off putting. But still great acting nonetheless. Empire of the Wolves (as is the name on the disk.. if you entered that in search in IMDb you'd come up empty handed. ) has great similarities to the first Crimson Rivers. Although there, the camera work was so superiour that there's no comparison. Crimson Rivers 2 is not based on a novel of the first movie. This one is. The score is pretty good. And the female lead did a darn good job with what she was given. I'm not entirely sure why some didn't like the movie, maybe they were expecting Delicatessen or some masterpiece. But hey, up against most of the Hollywood fare, this one trounces them.
Quality: 4/10 (confusing storyline) Entertainment: 10/10 Replayable: 10/10