Film: 'Largo Winch II - The Burma Conspiracy'; Director: Jerome Salle; Cast: Julien Rappeneau, Jerome Salle and Sharon Stone; Rating: **
When it comes to art, the secret to being truly global is to be totally local. Hollywood exerts so much influence on world of cinema that all such wisdom is thrown out of the wind. The result is a film like 'Largo Winch II, which despite trying is neither truly French, nor Hollywood.
Largo Winch, adopted son of a billionaire, returns from his self-exile in Burma to take control of the Winch empire after his father's murder. He is not his father and he wants to sell the corporation and use the money for humanitarian work. But the day he signs papers to initiate proceedings, he is accused of crimes against humanity.
Largo must face his past, clear his name and save his inheritance from falling into the hands of a mysterious man out to get him.
'Largo Winch II' is a total Hollywood wannabe. And like Hollywood, it travels to the exotic corners of the world and it has special effects that can give Hollywood a run for its money. However, where the film falters is that though it gets the car chases, the explosions, the gun fights and the parachute fights right, it forgets the core of any film, direction.
The direction is uneven, sloppy and often seems like hastily done rather than well thought out and executed. The focus is more on special effects rather than compelling storytelling.
In this, it gets its Hollywood right. After all, Largo Winch, a Belgian book character, is hugely popular in France and sells millions of copies annually making it a legitimate film candidate. Like Hollywood, they got the first part of the series right. This resulted in a big hit. This part, and others that will follow, will thus go downhill, just like almost every single Hollywood franchisee out there.
Yet, the film has got a global release, unlike the first. And that speaks a lot about the business of cinema. And it is business that makes its French producers hire Sharon Stone. Her character is so badly etched out that it becomes a lesson in cinema about what not to do while making a film.
'Largo Winch II', with its failed attempts at sounding and looking cool and its laughable dialogues in French, English and little Burmese, become a muddled mess of a film that is worth watching for a few action sequences. But in a world where the masters of action, Hollywood, dominates and is omnipresent, there's no point in watching a French film for the same.