Renaissance (France 2006)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 5/5/18
Cast: Daniel Craig, Romola Garai, Catherine McCormack, Ian Holm, Jonathan Pryce

A young scientist from a powerful beauty corporation is kidnapped, and Captain Karas (Daniel Craig) is assigned to rescue her. He has no leads other than the scientist's sexy older sister, Bislane (Catherine McCormack), and his progress is constantly hampered by bureaucratic red tape and some very nasty people with high tech weaponry.

Unfortunately, the gorgeous animation isn't enough to save the film from its dull story, weak dialog, and flat performances. Karas is your typical bad-ass, hot-headed, testosterone-fueled, sour-faced, super-cop loner, but he's not at all likable, which makes the movie difficult to enjoy. Bislane provides all of the female eye candy, but she's an uptight bitch who isn't particularly likable, either. Naturally, the two of them have a baffling, pointless, and unconvincing love scene. The voice acting is pretty poor across the board, which really drags the film down. I originally suspected this was because it's a French film that was later dubbed into English, but the lip-syncing definitely matches the English voices, so I'm guessing it was intended to be in English from the start. The stark black and white animation is beautiful and stunning to watch, although the novelty of it starts to wear off after the first hour. The downbeat ending nicely complements the bleak and dreary story, and also succeeds in making Karas even more of a jerk. But it's worth checking out if you're a fan of dystopian sci-fi noir.

The credits include three separate sections for "warm thanks", "special thanks", and "particular thanks", which I found rather amusing.