Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dark Portals The Chronicles of Vidocq|
Actors: Gérard Depardieu, Guillaume Canet, Ines Sastre, André Dussollier, Edith Scob
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Paris. 1830. When the infamous detective Vidocq disappears in the middle of a busy city, nobody can explain the abduction. His archenemy, the Alchemist, the assassin Vidocq has been tracking, is the prime suspect. However,... more »
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Above average, but not great combination of mystery and horr
Genevieve Hayes | Australia | 10/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After French detective Vidocq (one of the historical figures whom Sherlock Holmes was based on, played here by Gerard Depardieu) is killed at the hands of the Alchemist, a killer who wears a mirrored mask and steals the souls of his victims, his young biographer Etienne (Guillaume Canet) decides to solve his murder as a final tribute to this great man. The story is told partially in flashbacks, with both Etienne and Vidocq (in the flashbacks) solving the same mystery "together".
"Dark Portals" is a stylish yet strange movie that may not appeal to all tastes. The film is directed by Pitof, a visual effects expert who graduated to directing, so the special effects in this film are incredible, as is the scenery, which appears to have been added by computer. The plot of this film is unusual - I don't want to say too much about it, so as not to give away too many of the plot twists, but the story combines mystery and horror/fantasy elements and as a result it can be viewed as either a mystery or as a horror film. I, personally, am not a fantasy fan, so didn't really like the fantasy elements all that much, but I am a big mystery fan and that was enough to keep me interested. The script of this film was co-written by Jean-Christophe Grange, who also wrote "The Crimson Rivers" and "The Empire of the Wolves", two of my favourite mystery novels, and although this is nowhere near as good as either of those books, and although it is a bit slow moving at times, it is still a decent story.
One thing that does let this film down is the acting, which felt amateurish to me. Even Depardieu, who had made over 100 movies prior to this one, seems wooden, and the less experienced actors are even worse. I suspect that this is the down side of having a technical expert as a director.
Overall, this is an above-average, but not great, film that is worth watching if you are looking for something different, but won't stay with you for long after the credits have finished rolling.