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L’Immortele

Year: 2010
Studio: Europa Corp
Director: Richard Berry
Producer: Luc Besson
Writer: Richard Berry
Cast: Jean Reno

Luc Besson is only listed as a producer on this film, but his fingerprints and influence are all over it.

It's set in a world not unlike what you'd imagine as the French Goodfellas, and in the greatest tradition of gangster cinema, we're asked to root for a murderer and racketeer simply because he's the best of a bad bunch.

A few early flashbacks show Charly's (Reno) enduring friendship forming with two associates who help him kill a local mobster. All three of them grow up to be mafia kingpins, and when Charly is gunned down in an underground carpark it seems his days of crime are over.

But whomever ordered the hit hasn't counted on Charly's incredible luck when he lives. Even though he's supposed to have retired, he goes on a one man campaign to track down and kill every one of his assailants. A bloody game of strike and counterstrike ensues, and whether the film was conscious of it or it simply occurred to me, the futility of such blood feuds seemed to be a lynchpin of the script, each vengeful murder worse than the last until there's little left to fight over except for a pile of bodies.

The twists about who's behind it aren't the most original and some of the dialogue needed a little more profundity to really make an impact, but there's a kinetic sense of action movie violence that puts it squarely into Besson territory.

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