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  • 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.
  • 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.

    Paladin Steelbreaker
  • 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.
  • ... are not enough to satisfy the/a sophisticated viewer! A movie that begins as fine as this, more in the vain of a thriller and clearly reminding people of films as "Fifth Element", and has horror elements woven into the plot, should deserve a better rating. I was amazed by the beginning and was really anxious to know what was happening. Throw in Jean Reno, always on top of his game and nothing can go wrong ... or can it?

    Well it seems it can! And this movie is an example of why, you should know where you're heading as a director, making a movie. Also one of those movies who try to mix up genres just like that ... Doesn't work that easy though. And although the beginning was suspenseful and good, you will notice the point where the movie breaks ... where it won't only get ridiculous, but the movie also falls to pieces. And even the not badly photographed action sequences at the end can' save that, as well as Reno can't! The question that remains is, did the script writer(s) mess this up, or did the director go another way and made many script "corrections" (they've gone all wrong then)? I'll never know, but I also don't care!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I was slightly worried at first that subtitles were a bit ambitious for hungover Sunday viewing but it was fairly easy to keep up.

    The two plot lines seem completely separate at first and they are nicely tied together later in the film. This works very well at giving two sides of an event without resorting to flashbacks or spoon-feeding the viewer.

    You do have to think and pay attention to this film but it is not overly cryptic - I think I understood everything I needed to at the end. Some minor details might be a little blurry but these are not integral to the plot.

    Some racial stereotypes aside this is a very well thought out and captivating film.
  • stormruston19 April 2006
    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.
  • 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
  • Another great action/thriller from France. A little bit Bourne Identity, a little bit Carlitos Way, dash Lethal Weapon "bad&good" cop attitude, a glimpse of From Dusk Till Dawn and Silence of the Lambs and you have a pretty entertaining 128 min at your local cinema (or on DVD). If you liked some past french productions like Crimson Rivers or Brotherhood of the Wolf you won't be disappointed. The action scenes are not perfect, they need a little bit polishing but at the end it's solid cine experience with interesting story. The script is tight, maybe one twist too much at the end but hey, it's worth and you should follow it without any difficulties. Again, it's not perfect, but solid 8/10.
  • L'EMPIRE DES LOUPS is another intelligent, intense and very explosive thriller from the author Jean-Christophe Grangé who wrote also the first CRIMSON RIVERS. It kept me all the time guessing what came next and there were many puzzles to solve. Director Nahon made a great job and all the actors delivered a very solid performance. I hope there will be soon another one. I don't know why this movie is underrated on IMDb with actual 5.4 but I give with my wife a solid 7.5/10. If I compare the quality of this film with similar Hollywood thrillers then it's no doubt one of the best and a must see for all fans of this genre. I am a little disappointed why this excellent thriller didn't get enough attention at the theaters and even me discovered it accidentally in the film dates of Jean Reno.
  • This moving thriller displays drama , action-packed , thrills , and wild fighting images . It is an action-filled and violent film , being utterly filmed in France and Turkey . Set initially in Paris , there appears several stabbed and bruised victims . A tough and young but experienced detective called Paul Nerteaux (Jocelyn Quivrin) carries out the hard investigation . The corpses belong to women illegal Turkish immigrants . Paul then decides to ask for help an old detective , Jean-Louis Schiffer (Jean Reno) , and as he join forces with the retired police inspector with very sharp skills to pursue the serial killer . Both of whom infiltrate in the Turkish immigration mafia attempting to resolve the heinous killings . Meantime , a woman named Anna Heymes (Arly Jovert) undergoing an illness treatment and has confuse vision and rare breakdowns , as well surprising outbreaks . She is helped by an obstinate psychiatrist called Mathilde Urano (Laura Morante) . At the end , Paul discovers the nasty Turkish organization "The Wolves" , led by an ominous mobster called Kudseyi (Vernon Dobtcheff) , is behind the weird crimes and after that , he goes to Turkey .

    ¨L'Empire Des Loups" or "Empire of the Wolves" contains sinister mysteries , emotional thrills , action and suspense . This is a highly mysterious and cerebral thriller , filled with plot twists , including a spectacular denouement in its final part . The main premise is the following : various slashed female corpse of immigrants show up and two detectives to investigate it and to chase a serial murderer . This original as well entertaining premise is overspread across the movie adding some brief conventional pitfalls . Along with the astonishing crimes is developed an intrigue about women exploitation , illegal immigration and drug smuggling . The picture is full of tumultuous sequences with frenetic action , surprises , fierce combats , shootouts , and groundbreaking struggles . ¨Seven¨ atmosphere and style psychological mystery , being decently directed , though hard to follow . The only scenes that used CGI are when Jean Reno falls down spiral ladder at the graveyard with CG stairs , bricks , rocks surrounding him . The cast is frankly fine , such as Jean Reno who gives a good acting as a dark retired Police Inspector Jean-Louis Schiffer . This one belongs to the last period in his long career playing strong cops or mobsters as ¨Antigang¨, ¨22 bullets¨, ¨Armored¨, ¨wasabi¨ and especially ¨Crimson Rivers¨ and "Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse" and TV series ¨Jo¨. And nice Jocelyn Quivrin as two-fisted young detective as well as Arly Jover as unsettling girl who suffers severe headaches and glimpses of records . Special mention for Laura Morante as a cunning psychiatrist . The picture is pretty well , though sometimes complex ,and it has a lot of turns . However , being entertaining for its continuous suspense .

    Dark and rainy cinematography in ¨Seven¨ style by Michel Abramowicz . Strange and moving musical score fitting to action , including oriental sounds from Turkey . Amid the glamour and grandeur of the scenarios , including Paris , Istanbul , Uchisar, and especially Cappadoccia, Turkey . This stirring film was lavishly co-produced by producers Andrew Colton , Patrice Ledoux , Francesco Pamphili and professionally realized by Chris Nahon , though it has some flaws and gaps . Filmmaker Nahon establishes his signature style of kinetically-paced story-telling through sumptuous imagery , leading to international critical acclaim . Chris Nahon was born in France , he is a good director and writer, known for Empire of the wolves (2005) , Blood: the last vampire (2009) and Kiss of the dragon (2001) . Rating : 6/10 , passable and acceptable . Worthwhile watching .
  • This movie came as a surprise, I never expected such a fast paced action movie produced in France. The ambiance is excellent, the story is a bit hard to follow and I'm afraid not at all well put together. But never the less it's a nice piece of work for the positive points, in terms of quality, aside from the storyline, some thriller-like scenes are too exaggerated (almost like a bad horror movie), the same exaggeration happens with some action scenes also.

    Overall this movie is a must for action movie and thriller fans but be prepared to need a bit of attention to follow a averagely accomplished script.
  • i really enjoyed the movie and i cant see why so many people didn't.

    i found the direction amazing,and that combined with a great photography gave people really creepy scenes.(i went to see it expecting to be scared,and i left with the amount of fear needed in these films).

    Though i must admit there were some scenes i could do without

    i didn't enjoy reno as much as i expected,but i do believe he made a good performance.

    the girl (anne) and the young cop really caught my attention,i was thrilled to see them perform,especially the girl was perfect for the part.

    i do believe they made a very hasty end though,i wanted a bigger part of the movie to happen in Instanbul.

    apart from that i believe its a very good movie the best part of it,has to be the atmosphere created,especially in the beginning

    when the movie ended i had the same feeling i had with "bone collector" and "takin lives" (i adored both of them) i really think "the empire of the wolves" has the standards to compete with these two great movies

    the political edge though makes the latter stand out in my opinion.

    i also think that whoever enjoyed this one will love "Vidocq" and vice versa

    summary-good points

    great movie,nice performances-very good casting,excellent photography,AMAZING soundtrack,good thriller,beautiful locations

    European cinema rocks once again
  • When the young detective Paul Nerteaux (Jocelyn Quivrin) finds the third slashed female corpse of illegal Turkish immigrants, he decides to ask for support to the experienced dark retired detective Jean-Louis Schiffer (Jean Reno) to chase the serial killer. Together, they infiltrate in the Turkish mafia trying to find the answer to the crimes. Meanwhile, the worker Anna Heymes (Arly Jover) is being submitted to a brain treatment and has severe headaches and glimpses of memories and visions. When these two parallel events collide, disclose that the Turkish organization "The Wolves" is behind them.

    "L'Empire des Loups" seems to be a good story, but with a very confused and flawed screenplay. I have never read the book, where probably I would find the explanations for many situations, but watching the way I did, in a DVD spoken in French with English subtitles, I found lack of explanation for many points. I repeated some scenes, trying to see what I could have missed, but I believe the plot is really flawed. For example, Schiffer wears a necklace identical to the criminals, but it is never clear if he is a dirty cop or if he also belongs to or worked undercover in the organization. What are the reasons for the brainwash of Sema, and her visions of monsters and reference to the Four Moons? Was she a mule of the Wolves? Why waste such a woman as a mule and as a subject of an experiment? A simpler screenplay with fewer subplots would work better and better in a movie. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "O Império dos Lobos" ("The Empire of the Wolves")
  • dogan-28 January 2006
    Well, imagine, there is one girl who lost her memory, they try to understand using "scientific methods" what she might be doing in he previous life. The "scientist" finds a trace of henna in her finger nails, and he concludes that she is a Turk, because that particular henna is grown in Anatolia. Come on, if I go and they test me they may conclude that I am Chinese, as almost everything we use nowadays are made in china. CRAP BIG TIME

    There are many other problems in the plot. The way Turks are portrayed is offensive, and although "wolves" exist as a right wing fraction in Turkey, they have nothing to do with the stuff they are associated with in this movie.
  • garageolympo10 June 2006
    Unfortunately as a Jean Reno fan, I am very disappointed with this movie. The movie has just created an imaginary world especially while describing the Turks. The mafia of extreme rightists in Turkey never live in kappadochia caves, etc, they might live in Bosphorus in big and modern houses :)). They don't wear such silly ninja like dresses or don't live in Arabic environments as seen at the end of the movie. The backgrounds that were chosen in Turkey, better suit to one of the Star Wars episodes :)) We (me and my wife) have just watched the movie with a wide but annoyed smile on our faces.

    I am not in favor of rightists :)) But the scenario and the content were so ridiculous that, this movie must be watched only as a comedy. The players' Turkish was also so funny that I had considerable difficulty in understanding what they were speaking. The story as an action-thriller movie (besides the Turk theme) was also unbelievable :)) How can Turkish mafia know very good french and know little Turkish? Sorry for all people who gave their energy for such a bad movie. The silly big head sculpture was another flaw in film. What was that? :))) Something seem to be mixed with Congo movie, or king Kong?? :)) Just awful work. Sorry. :)
  • When I went to watch „Crimson Rivers", another movie based on one of Grange's novels, I was really amazed by the atmosphere, but rather disappointed by the ending of the plot which I found to be rather overdone. With "Empire of the Wolves" I expected the same. However, it turns out to be one of the least convincing movies of this year, at least according to my taste. There are flaws virtually everywhere. When Nerteaux, one of the cops, asks his buddy Schiffer during one of the many unmotivated fights of the movie: "Could you explain this chaos to me?" members of the audience will nod in agreement as that is what you want to ask the makers of this movie from the first minute on. The various pieces of the plot don't fit together, the soundtrack does not at all contribute to the suspense the movie should produce. Last not least, in order to symbolize "criminalism" and "brutality" and for the deflection of sympathy the movie uses Turkish people and Turkish nationalism. I do not want to discuss in how far the portrayal of the Grey Wolves is in any case realistic. What I find immoral is that the movie uses the fear of Arabs or Arabic looking people which is generated by 9/11 and terroristic assaults to tell its tale. By doing this the movies supports prejudices that should not be supported at all - even if it is only a thriller.
  • I love Jean Reno. He just has that air about him that makes a great detective.

    Here he plays a retired police detective that was drummed out under mysterious circumstances, or was he? He teams up with a Police Captain (Jocelyn Quivrin) to solve some mysterious gruesome murders in Paris.

    In the meantime, some nefarious things are going on with the police and the military that involve a policeman's wife (Arly Jover).

    Nothing is what it seems in this film. You are constantly surprised and reassessing who to cheer for. While things seem to tie together at the end, there are still questions.

    Great direction by Chris Nahon, who did Kiss of the Dragon. Great cinematography and music, and great acting, especially by Jean reno.
  • I was pleasantly surprised by this film and have also wondered about the negative reviews. The movie has two problems 1) a problem of perception: it starts off looking like a fairly routine mystery / police procedural, but elements of other kinds of movies begin to trickle in as the plot reveals itself -- which may have confused some reviewers wanting a pure genre piece, 2) the plot IS a little hard to follow in places and depends on one important coincidence in particular. However, the overall story makes sense in a "gestalty" kind of way and I don't think it's a killer issue. Oh, and 3) the English dub (which I turned on a couple of times) should be confiscated and burned. It's a fairly good dub in syncing the lips, but the voicing is as inappropriate as any bad dub of a Japanese film. For Pete's sake, hire a mimic next time you dub an actor as well-known as Reno.

    But I take real issue with the critics who labeled as "ridiculous" this or that aspect of the film. People have given high marks to James Bond films that stretched belief far more painfully. The real issue is that the French filmmakers aren't telegraphing the genre to the viewers. Good for them.

    Offsetting any problems is the wonderfully mysterious setup that ends in a real surprise about 40 minutes into the picture. That's the point when the picture shifts gears and we start seeing the "action/adventure" film which is quite well done.
  • The French noticed that Jean Reno + interesting/shocking plot and lots of high budget action make money. The still hold on to the plot thing, but I think they are going in the same direction as Hollywood movies.

    In this one you have army experiments, terrorism, violent police behaviour and corrupt police (always a success in France) mixed with fast paced action and plot twists. It's not that the movie is bad, it's that is not good that bothers me. OK, it was supposed to be an action thriller and in this direction it was not bad at all, but with a little more work, the idea of the movie could have been a lot more captivating.

    Conclusion, the first hour of the movie is not as intense as the last. The film looses tension as it unravels and somewhere on the middle it gets boring as the investigative characters catch up with what is rather obvious to the viewers. The ending is not surprising, but satisfactory. As an action film is OK, but do search a good translation.
  • This excellent thriller owes most of the credits to it's author (the book) Jean Christophe Grange and actor Jean Reno. You will find some similarities of the film with Crimson Rivers, which is also based on Grange's book and Jean Reno played the lead character Commissioner Pierre Niemans. Like Crimson Rivers, the movie begins with seemingly two different events and a pair of cops trying to unravel the mystery. Anna Heymes (Arly Jover), the wife of a respected government official Laurent (Philippe Bas) is having a rare amnesia and nightmarish hallucinations of horrible murders, while in the Turkish neighborhood of Paris, Police Captian Paul Nerteaux (Jocelyn Quivrin) is trying to solve the possible serial killings of the illegal Turkish women with the help of an ex-cop Jean-Louis Schiffer (Jean Reno), who is also an expert in Turkish underworld and organized crime. Eventually these two seemingly unrelated worlds begin to collide into a web of danger and dark mysteries. As usual, Grange's work made this movie a cerebral action thriller. Cherish it.
  • This is basically on the same lines as the two CRIMON RIVERS thrillers, also starring Jean Reno; the muddled narrative involves two separate plot lines (a young cop on the trail of a serial killer and the tribulations of a woman apparently suffering from memory loss) which gradually intermingle. The title necessitates a few misleading 'horror' images relating to the girl's disorientation (especially since it all boils down to revolve around a drug-trafficking organization, with Paris and Istanbul for backdrops!); Reno is an iconoclastic ex-cop to whom the rookie turns for advice, but who is driven to distraction by his violent ways! Though action-packed, the film is more intriguing for its thematic pretensions: the heroine discovers that she has had her features altered, eventually reverting from bourgeois housewife to her true self – a Turkish immigrant with connections to the underworld, finding herself therefore suddenly resourceful enough to outwit or otherwise deal with her pursuers! Her 'husband' is revealed to be among them, but also Reno (actually a double agent), as well as a man she seemed to be familiar with but could not quite place; the latter, in fact, turns out to be the serial killer eluding the Police, driven towards recreating the anguished expression of a statue through his crimes (and with the woman herself being next in line)! A mildly interesting and enjoyable film, then, especially during its first half (if not especially memorable or rewarding) but, apart from feeling decidedly overlong at 128 minutes, its latter stages unfortunately turn into just another action movie.
  • The movie was not successful in adaptation from Jean Christophe Grange's novel into the scene. There are some points, which were not clear, in the scenario. On the whole, they make the movie incomprehensible and difficult to be understood. It seems that Jean Reno has moved fast along the time. Wrinkledness on his face shows his age. Comparing with Leon, action movies may not be possible for him in the near future. (Sorry, Mr. Reno, my aim is not to behave rudely) There are murders connected with an organization called "Bozkurt" in Paris in Turkish district. Clues were pure and there was no way to follow up them without commit a crime. Former and recent police officers worked together and solved the murders just barely.

    Some part of the movie was made in Turkey. Scenery was extra ordinary. Thanks for choosing Turkey.

    Finally, please do no get sadness, if you could not watch the movie. Wait for TV show.
  • It was a very "difficult" movie.

    No, I don't talk about a sophisticated script, filming or acting. It was a boring and -hard to understand- mixture of a bad scenario, bad acting and bad directing.

    I think that nobody in the film stuff believed to this chaotic story.

    Normally, Turkey and the Turks present better locations and stories for action movies or thrillers. But, in my opinion, this movie wasted a great chance on the screen.

    Remember "From Russia with Love" and its locations in Turkey. This movie is still marvelous and a masterpiece.

    And another famous movie, "Topkapi"... Director Jules Dassin also used Turkey as an exciting location in 1963.

    Even Jackie Chan shot a better thriller in Turkey in 2002, "The Accidental Spy".

    Don't spend your time with this fully "tired" film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I completely understand the plot it goes like this :

    • Girl without memory has face changed for some reason - The police changed her memory - She changed her face because she did a drug rip-deal - Here brother likes to kill people who look like her - Actually she is a Turkish terrorist - Jean reno is involved in something - The turks kill another group of turks in a bath filled with mint

    Then it gets better :

    • The girl is a ninja - The drugs are in an enormous cave filled with death people - The case collapses and Reno is death - No he is not death

    Never mind all that the end is amazing :

    • Reno, the cop, the girl, the brother all end up in Turkey - At the same time of course, the whole France police force is also there - The girl kills here father - The cop, reno and the police kill everyone else in the village - The serial killer brother tries to serial kill the girl

    The best thing about this movie however is the final end :

    • Switch of DVD player, throw disk in bin, and sue the french for wasting your time.

    Movie seem to be made by a bunch of spaced out french with a high budget. Awful just awful, worst waste of time and money ever (well, there's french cars which are a step below that...)
  • From the get-go, this film winds the viewer up in a double-helix plot line that takes no prisoners and leaves the faint-witted and slow-to-snap behind. This director understands layering -- a multiple-level approach to scene-building that juxtaposes high tech gadgetry like mind-probes and radioactive oxygen memory tracers and erasers with the gritty underbelly of Parisian catacombs. The seemingly innocuous beginning -- a woman with neurological problems - quickly develops triple layers of menace as her visions begin to intertwine with the horrible series of mutilation murders. The pace starts fast, stays that way, and this director is not afraid to give us a taste of anti-climax before sending us over the edge to the finale. A very slick, visually-stimulating thriller with a satisfying conclusion.
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