7 April 2006 | mister_nameless
It's sad that it died so fast...
"Un homme mort" is an extremely interesting and suspenseful TV-series... Of course, (in my opinion) it did not have the same level of _constant_ suspense present in another recent Quebec TV-s. thriller "Le Négociateur" (that I liked more), yet it managed to capture my attention from the very first minutes... These are some of the reasons:
1). The acting. That's why, IMHO, the Quebec comedians _always_ shine in their productions. It's just perfect! The actors match their respective roles wonderfully and perform at the top of their abilities. They've got all the package in there: the very cute Karine Vanasse, the veteran Michel Barrette, the "dead" (yet omnipresent) Robert Lalonde, the very charismatic Michel Dumont, and lots of other actors who are truly remarkable in other roles (I liked Isabel Richer, Romano Orzari, Lise Roy and, of course, the unforgettable Marco Ramirez the most). All the cops are very alive and believable, and so are the members of the Bank personnel. We can feel their emotions and understand their problems instantly.
2). The special effects. Well, maybe some people won't like the what seems to be the clichéd zooms, flashes (the red coloration was definitely overused IMHO) and split-screen techniques. But, they were pretty much convenient and well matching in this production IMHO. The sound effects deserve special mention. They are always very surprising.
3). The atmosphere and the plot. Even if it's not "Le Négociateur 2" (I can't wait to see this one!), the general atmosphere of the film is very well recreated. The frequent thrilling moments will have you on the edge of your seat. They are unexpected, scary and quite surprising. You'll say: "I didn't see THAT coming!" many times, while watching UHM, guaranteed. These twists are quite numerous. Also, the TV-s. has an excellent visual quality that adds to the development of the suspense level. Plus, there are some really good jokes in there. Ex: "What are you looking for on the ceiling? Spider-Man?" LOL
But, as it's always the case, the cons come along:
1). One of the first aspects I didn't like about UHM is that it had way too much financial blablabla. Many episodes are especially business-talky, so the actual crime investigation is kept in shadows for a time. This is quite frustrating, and I bet that's why it turned many viewers off in the first days of the teleserie's premiere. Simply put, the main characters are constantly piling whole LOADS of completely INCOMPREHENSIBLE financial/business/commercial information on the audience's back. Now, don't get me wrong, I like complex plots in movies with complex details. But I like also when everything (or at least a bit more than 50%) in a movie's plot is explained in simple steps. But UHM feels at times, as if it was made only with businessmen/businesswomen in mind. I must have said: "What the hell are they talking about?" like many times during my viewing of this TV-s. If you're not into business, you won't understand many small aspects, guaranteed. The main story is only a bit more comprehensible, fortunately.
2). I think that the level of violence was a bit too high here. The famous "homme mort" is cut in three pieces and they actually SHOW them lying around. Another guy has his head cut and it is delivered to one of the protagonists. Damn scary! Also, I didn't quite get why they had to kill an innocent driver in such a cruel manner. Other on-screen deaths are not less violent. Possibly, it was another reason of why many didn't like it. And they say it's PG-13 (13+ in Quebec)! No way, I say! It's R (16+) all the way, if not NC-17 (add in some sexuality/nudity too).
3). The TV-s. is, also, pretty much slow-moving. Of course, I won't call it a pure con, but, sometimes it's also quite frustrating. Like, you're beginning to watch another episode and the tension is going up real fast. You're waiting for something to happen and... nothing happens. The same situation just repeats itself over and over. Even the last episode goes the same way until the last 5 minutes.
But, I think, it doesn't matter anymore, what was good or bad in UHM, because, well... it died. Literally (no pun intended there). The production costs were way too high and, as I said earlier, more than the third of the starting audience was turned off during the first days of the UHM premiere. The second season was, thus, not greenlit and the cast/production members were deprived of another possibility to manifest their excellent skills (that's not sarcasm, no). And that's sad, quite sad...
I mean, I liked it... All the ideas were quite original (the "bull" scene was excellent, IMHO, for example), the omnipresent "black ops" guys (Tavares' strike force?) were pretty cool, the action scenes (well, it's not pure shoot-'em-up action, but anyways) were well-staged and the humor was quite entertaining... But, I was very much disappointed, because the ending was quite "a la Twin Peaks" (i.e. the story was obviously unfinished)... That's how I will always remember it: an excellent, yet never finished story...
*Huge Spoilers Ahead*
...But, if we look at it from another perspective, the answers (for the main questions Who? Why? and How?) were pretty much cleared up. Kim and Paul were there alone, in the end... Alone and against the System (right, with the maj. "S")... The System that kills mercilessly because of its lust for money... No human life is valued for it... Tavares was a good example of such a System, IMHO: a true master-and-commander, a man who puts himself higher than God...
RIP, "Un Homme Mort"... It had some really good stuff in it, but it died, unfortunately...
P.S. I heard rumors recently stating that this TV-s. _may_ be converted into a feature film (a la "Serenity")... That would be an excellent idea.