From the producer of The Professional and The Fifth Element and starring Jean Reno (The Professional) this intense horror/thriller finds a woman suffering from nightmares and bouts of amnesia mysteriously tied to a series ... more »of gruesome murders around Paris. Anna Heymes (Arly Jover), the wife of a senior government official, is experiencing the loss of memory and terrifying hallucinations. In the Turkish neighborhood of Paris, two police officers, Nerteaux (Jocelyn Quivrin) and Schiffer (Reno), are trying to solve the mystery of the sadistic murders of three women, all clandestine Turkish laborers. While the upright Nerteaux is determined to stop the killings, Schiffer is a dirty cop whose real goals are more questionable. In the course of the investigation, they discover that an armed branch of the Turkish mafia might be responsible for the murders. At the same time, Anna learns that her face has been transformed by plastic surgery, leaving nothing of her previous appearance. The link between Anna and the three victims becomes ever more clear as Anna's horrible past is progressively revealed to her, to Nerteaux, and to Schiffer« less
Robin M. (obdigobin) from CRP CHRISTI, TX Reviewed on 7/29/2012...
COMPLETELY enjoyed this film! I didn't know in advance that it was a French film, & thankfully, my mac loaded it in French w/ subtitles automatically b/c the English dubbed version takes away from the movie, in my opinion. The dubbed (English) voices are generic & lacking any emotion or substance (I reloaded it & watched the first 5 mins just to see). Watch it in French! SO well done. Arly Jover & Jean Reno are fantastic. Loved Jocelyn Quivrin's performance... googled him to find out more about him & was so sad to discover he passed away in 2009. Pity... :(
All in all, great flick. Action, unpredictability, great twists & turns, & fantastic acting. Highly recommend!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great Fun for Reno Fans! Light on extras.
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 12/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Empire of the Wolves', a French film directed by Chris Nahon and starring the perennial French film star of choice, Jean Reno is better than several of Reno's films I've seen recently such as `Wasabi' and `The Crimson Rivers', but not nearly as good as his appearances in `La Femme Nikita' or `The Professional'. And yet, his performance in this movie raises the quality of the movie rather than detracting from its reputation. Reno seems to be the French Robert DeNiro, who has appeared in a number of potboilers lately whose primary claim to fame is the fact that DeNiro is the star.
Overall, this is a pretty engaging thriller with a really unusual premise built upon the contemporary concerns about terrorism and interest in medical technology. Similar to `The Crimson Rivers', the movie starts out with two unrelated story lines.
The first story line involves a young woman who, as the film opens, is undergoing an MRI scan to diagnose what seems to be a very odd type of amnesia, where she can't recognize her husband's face. The second story line involves a Paris homicide detective who is working a serial murder case where all the victims are illegally immigrated Turkish girls. The detective captain brings in Reno's character, a forcibly retired specialist in the Turkish quarter of Paris, who left the force in disgrace, stripped of virtually all civic privileges, including his driver's license.
Through the middle of the film, we are treated to Reno's interpretation of the `Dirty Harry' archetype of cop who extracts information from the bad guys in ways that even Clint Eastwood's characters would think twice before trying. Meanwhile, the young woman, played by Arly Jover, is falling ever more deeply into a very shadowy mystery involving her husband and his government colleagues which leads her to escape from their control and merge with Reno's half of the story.
To my taste, there is not quite enough exposition explaining everything that's going on, as if only the thinnest premises are necessary to serve as a framework for well filmed action scenes in unusual venues. And, this movie has its share of unusual venues. In one scene, it seems to borrow a page from the great 1940s film `The Third Man' with its chase of the Orson Wells character through the sewers of Vienna. I have heard a director recently quote Alfred Hitchcock in saying that the audience can endure just so much exposition, so you better get in what you need quickly and succinctly, or you loose the audience. I think either the screenwriter was just a bit too quick and managed to cut out one or two important pieces needed to tie everything together.
The story and the movie are too good for me to spoil it for the future viewer, but I think there are just one too many perps to go around. The list of primary perps includes a Turkish Mafia which seems to have at least two different agendas, one being terror and the other being narcotics smuggling. It also includes the shadowy governmental agency to which main character's (Anna) husband belongs. Finally, it seems the narcotics division of the Paris police are not entirely innocent in these goings on. Last but not least is the French army, allied with the shadowy governmental agency, and involved because of their responsibility for the oversight of all radioactive substances, including those used in medical diagnostics.
There is a sense that the plot was constructed by simply glamming together three or four popular contemporary themes of suspense movies and hoping that a coherent story would emerge. Fortunately, the movie achieves just enough genuine suspense and classic chase scenes and turnabouts to make the movie a pleasure to watch.
One does get the feeling that the film is just a bit overlong, but it does seem to have enough meat to keep us interested for the full two plus hours. Based on my very rudimentary French, I believe the subtitled translation is as good as you will see anywhere, especially since there were no subtlties to deal with as you may find in a Renoir or Truffaut film.
Recommended action flick, a bit weaker than Reno's best, but fun anyway. "
The Empire of the Wolves.
New Age of Barbarism | EVROPA. | 05/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"_L'Empire des Loups_ is an excellent French action film. The film features a woman who is apparently losing her memory. Her ability to distinguish her husband's face is disappearing. However, something sinister lurks behind this apparent memory loss. While this woman struggles with her apparent disorder, illegal Turkish immigrants are turning up dead, their bodies and faces mutilated. The film features many surprising plot twists as the woman and the murder cases begin to coincide. A secret society that seeks to restore the Turkish empire known as the "Grey Wolves" (named after the grey wolves that supposedly saved Turkey from imminent destruction) is involved in a diabolical attempt to infiltrate government as well as drug smuggling. The movie also shows the unethical attempt by the government to experiment on unwitting victims, as well as the threat posed by both terrorism and knee-jerk counter-terrorism forces. This movie is very exciting and will certainly keep the viewer interested."
AB | chicago | 05/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so there are certain aspects that aren't very believable, but who cares, it was great fun to watch."
A few cards short
Andrew D. Leitch | Perth, Australia | 05/10/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The central female character, Anna (Arly Jover), is engaging whilst she struggles to uncover her mysterious origins but the two protagonists striving to solve the same mystery by tracking down the murderers of her predecessors are quite unlikeable. Moreover there never is a plausible connection between all the dead Turkish women and Anna except for their nationality. Its never explained why the Wolves killed them or how their deaths came about.
Far too much of this movie makes little or no sense until the end and then the explanations just leave you cold. Who are the Wolves? Turkish Terrorists? Why are they Terrorists? Oh, no reason, they're just evil. Only evil guys would hide out in the famous Christian catacombs in Turkey - unnoticed by thousands of tourists and locals.
Give this film a miss and pick up Wasabi instead!"