11 February 2007 | dbdumonteil
exactly what the catch phrase says: the same in worse
My close relatives and friends know that Patrice Leconte has a prominent place in my straitjacket of favorite French filmmakers. I must profess that treasures like "Tandem" (1987), "le Mari De la Coiffeuse" (1990) or "l'Homme Du Train" (2002) were pure cinematographic delights in my eyes. But in counterpart, I don't go much for the "Bronzés" saga which is supposed to be a satirical mirror of the average Frenchman. I have always deemed it as vulgar, crass and it's really a shame that in France, for many French viewers, the name of Patrice Leconte remains associated with this cult series (for those who love it). There's so much to discover beyond it like the three gems aforementioned.
The first two chapters were shot in 1978 and in 1979. After that, a big proportion of viewers expected another installment. And so, Patrice Leconte and his gang of well-known French actors agreed to make a third episode. Of course, the whole crew was elated at the idea to work all together again like the good old days and I can understand(while not sharing it) the enthusiasm of many fans. "Les Bronzés 3: Amis pour la vie" was perhaps the most anticipated film of 2006.
I haven't got fond memories of the first two episodes and I won't warm to the series with this third one. My estimation about it is a juxtaposition of sketches hardly dovetailed without a true unifying thread. In the middle of the film, comes a two-bit subplot whose main function is filler. Some old clichés have been seen so many time before like Bernard Morin's son who announces to his father that he's gay and of course, his father isn't prepared to accept this. Most comical effects often fall flat and are rarely efficient.
Even Patrice Leconte's input in the project is absent and he doesn't seem to care about it. The actors give us their little acts but that's all. All in all, many fans of the first two films will be delighted to see these reunions and won't be hampered by the fact that the film isn't a model of cinematographic writing and this film by Patrice Leconte and his men is for them. But if some of them are curious to see what there is beyond this new trilogy (unless a fourth episode is on the way) in Leconte's filmography, I strongly advise them to watch the works I quoted in my first paragraph.