(Review originally written at 1 October 2010)

No, this is not an horrible movie and I did not disliked watching it but I absolute didn't seem to like it as much as most other people seem to do and in my opinion the movie is currently being way overrated.

I'll give the movie that it was a bit of an unique one for its time. It actually has a pretty good premise, lots of action movies now days would be jealous off. However it doesn't really make this movie a fantastic or spectacular one to watch, though I'm taking it into account that this movie was from before the period that the action-genre got actually first fully developed. But by saying all this, you shouldn't think that this is an action packed movie with gun fights or anything but it's more a movie that takes an action type of approach with its style and story-telling, of its somewhat adventurous story, that gets brought very tense to the screen.

I really had quite some problems with this movie. One is not even it's long running time of two and an half hours but more its set-up of its story and characters. Once you start thinking about it you should wonder of the first 30 minutes, or so, were truly needed for the movie or not. It's unnecessarily slow and it was mostly meant to introduce and set-up its character but they could had done this all a lot quicker really. And the characters aren't even that much good to begin with. Problem with them is that are some lying and cheating bums, who do everything for some money. I just could never fully like any of them, so therefore the movie already fell emotionally flat and became a distant one to watch.

But yes, it's definitely true that the movie becomes a much better one to watch in its second half, when finally good and interesting things start to happen. They came up with some pretty good moments for the movie, that often work out real tense. They are being build-up well and executed surprisingly good and also original.

But no matter how original the movie gets with some of its moments, the movie remains a very predictable one, or at least to me it was. I was not even surprised or taken away by its not-so-Hollywood-like ending. It got done a bit too obvious, in its build up toward it.

Nevertheless this movie still remains a great and also unique achievement, from director Henri-Georges Clouzot. It's a French movie, in which a whole lot of different languages gets spoken by its characters. Besides French we have Italian, Spanish, English and some German, just to name a few languages that get spoken throughout this movie. It's simply a well directed and also good looking movie, aside from its settings that don't really seem to suit the movie its premise.

The movie is supposedly set in an unnamed South-American country but the movie looks nothing like a South-American country at all. At first I even thought that the movie was being set in Marocco (also due to the many different languages being spoken in it) or some other northern African country. It's just one of those other little things that prevented me from truly getting in this movie and liking it as much as everybody else seems to do.

It's a good movie, especially for its time but there was nothing in this movie that was surprising or truly grabbing me.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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