Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Professional Spies

We watched Le Professionnel after seeing French spy spoof OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. The parody got us in the mood for the real thing.

The real thing being Jean-Paul Belmondo playing secret agent Josselin Beaumont, sent to Africa to assassinate a dictator. Unfortunately for him, the dictator makes terms with France, and the agency sell him out, leading to his arrest and trial. Unfortunately for the agency, he escapes Africa, and turns up in Paris, looking for revenge.

The cat-and-mouse game consists of Joss trying to kill the dictator, who is visiting France, before his old team at the agency can catch him. The action includes fist fights, gun fights, a fairly awesome carchase and quite a bit of lovemaking - Joss has to drop in on his wife, his lover, and the African dictator's French callgirl.

All in all, a fine action film, but not outstanding. What makes it worth watching are:
  • Belmondo being totally cool. That's what he does. He also punches people out with wild abandon and looks great with his shirt off.
  • The rest of the cast. The acting seemed to be a cut above the usual.
The other characters were so good, I got to re-casting them. Joss's ex-boss: decent but weak, he almost resigned when they sold out Joss. I see him played by Michael Caine. The thin, steely-eyed agent who is just a little too eager to take Joss down: a role for Roy Schieder (too late). And so on.

But nobody could replace Belmondo - I guess they'd have to use Mark Wahlberg, and that wouldn't be the same at all.

In conclusion, the soundtrack is by Ennio Morricone. Unfortunately, it is rather slight and slow for an action picture.


mr. schprock said...

Added to queue. Will probably watch it about 6 months from now (I have a strict no-cutsees rule).

R said...
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Beveridge D. Spenser said...

I'm always fiddling with my queue - I add all kinds of weird stuff, and ignore it when it floats to the top, moving #375 to #1.

I should do a blog post on the stuff at the top of the queue that I never get around to watching...