Monday, August 1, 2011

Frantic (1988)

"They've taken his wife. Now he's taking action."
....And I'm Taking A Nap

- Richard and Sondra Walker are taking an ordinary trip to Paris.... Or so they thought! Da.... da.... da!! Sondra goes missing and it is up to Richard to find her. What could possibly unfold throughout this mystery story? BAH! Who cares? Roman Polanski's thriller Frantic (1988) has all the mystery, quality, and enjoyment of a real snoozer.

Harrison Ford does an admirable job in his role as Richard Walker, but his performance here in Frantic is really just practice for his future and better performance in The Fugitive (1993) as a Doctor lost in a mystery and trying to find all the answers. Emmanuelle Seigner (later Polanski's wife) is also in the film as Ford's little helper, and while she is a huge knockout as far as beauty goes, her performance is as wooden and prickly as a pine tree.

When you see the name "Roman Polanski" attached to this, do not think too much of it. With a made for TV movie look and feel, Frantic is unlike his other good films. The cinematography is very bland (and that's a hard thing to do when you film your movie in Paris!) and the script is dull, made up of unimaginative dialogue and a story that could be interesting but is not in the end. And while it certainly sounds like Ennio Morricone (one of my favorite film composers) punched in and out for work every day, as a score exists, but he definitely coasted. An incredibly weak effort, Morricone's score adds little more to the film than a sound frequency here and there.

As we the audience are taken through a boring beginning, average middle, and laughable finale you will be frantic alright - frantic for the movie to be over.

CBC Rating: 4/10

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