17 September 2010 | r_imdb-369
je ne parle pas
I can't believe that in all of France there isn't one person who can do a decent translation of French into English subtitles. Considering that Reno is a major star, you'd think they would provide those of us viewers who "je ne parle pas" with less embarrassing captions. I mean c'mon folks, it's really annoying to have to translate the translation. This was on par with the worst of Russian and Asian subtitle efforts -- only not nearly as funny.
Notwithstanding the lousy captions, as far as I could tell Jean Reno plays retired French mobster Charlie Mattei who is assassinated and shot 22 times. He survives, miraculously, and vows to find out who ordered the hit. Very soon the line between friends and foes starts to blur as he gets closer to the truth and the core of Marseille's underbelly.
22 Bullets - originally titled "L'immortel" - is a vengeance movie as much as it is a mafia flick, so I am not surprised that the angle shifts from who-dunnit to "how's he gonna kill 'em all?" Still, L'immortel is trying to sell itself to us as serious crime drama, showing some historic snippets of Reno becoming the kingpin and so forth. But L'immortel never really is more than skin deep when it comes to the characters' backgrounds, careers or lifestyles, therefore their actions, thoughts and motivations stay in the dark.
L'immortel has a few highlights, but complexity, character development and consistency are not its strong suit. Most importantly however it lacks the street cred and its authenticity of e.g. GOMORRAH. L'immortel may not be a terrible movie, but it's not much more than overcooked stew made of the genre's most frequently used ingredients.