Thursday, November 12, 2009

Les brigades du tigre (The Tiger Brigades)

I've never seen The Untouchables and I didn't like this film. While the performance of the cast was okay, I just didn't like the idea to have a film that briefly documents what the Mobile Brigade did without much context and explanations. Hopefully, Diane Kruger plays in the film.

In 1907, a new wave (and kind) of crimes becomes part of the France's from the Belle Époque. This is why Georges Clemenceau, the French Minister of the Interior, creates the mobile brigades. However, the public opinion calls them the Tiger Brigades. In Paris, Inspector Constantin must fight a group of anarchists and corrupted civil servants and Constance (Diane Kruger), the wife of a Russian prince, in 1912. As his investigation progresses, Constantin will come to wonder if the signature of the Triple Alliance will contribute to France's national security.

Honestly, many won't have a problem with the fact that Les brigades du tigre plays fast and loose with History. Obviously, there's no doubt that the film is quite entertaining. Besides, the cast - especially Clovis Cornillac - delivers a fine performance even though their characters seem a little bit cartoonish. In fact, while the villains are well played, the "good guys" are played with the correct amount of toughness.

However, as a historical film, Les brigades du tigre lamentably fails. While the film gives us a day-to-day presentation of the brigades work, it fails to bring us back in the historical context. In fact, we just never feel the need for the French government to create the Mobile Brigades. This is mostly due to the presentation of the crimes and they just don't look as "innovative" as the real crimes were. Besides, add to that the fact that director Jérôme Corniau throws in the event of the signature of the Triple Alliance without knowing what to do with it. All in all, this goes without saying that the film is way too preoccupied with the entertainment factor.

Finally, I've some good French commercial films. However, Les brigades du tigre is just not one of them because of many plot holes. Hopefully, if the cast's performance was so bad, I'd have dumped the film in the first 30 minutes. In short, Les brigades du tigre is just a bad combination between the conventions of art films and commercial films.

Rating: 2.5/5

Origin:France (2006)
Length:125 minutes
Genre:Police drama
Screenplay:Xavier Dorison, Fabien Nury and John Kaylin
Director:Jérôme Corniau
Starring:Clovis Cornillac, Diane Kruger, Édouard Baer, Olivier Gourmet and Stefano Accorsi

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