Dobermann (France 1997)

Rating: **
Review Date: 5/17/14
Cast: Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci, Tcheky Karyo

"Awful" is the first word that comes to mind for this quirky and mean-spirited black comedy heist film. Admittedly, the only reason I watched it was because it features Monica Bellucci with a machine gun. Sadly, her character is just as messed up as all the others, as she's a psychopathic deaf/mute tramp with a weapons fetish. Yann a.k.a. "Dobermann" (Vincent Cassel) is a super cool criminal who brings together a team of psycho killers to pull off a major bank heist. He outwits the police at every turn, except for the ruthlessly sadistic Christini (creepy Tcheky Karyo), who is obsessed with catching him. After successfully pulling off the job, things come to an explosive head when Christini raids the nightclub where all of the thugs are having a party.

It really is a terrible film, and apart from some nice stuntwork here and there, it's pretty much a complete waste of time. With the exception of Dobermann and the tragic Sonia, none of the characters are even remotely likable. Tcheky Karyo's sadistic performance is off the chart and he's extremely creepy and unpleasant. His interrogation scenes are WAY too long and overplayed, which leaves a very bad taste. In this film, you end up rooting for the bad guys because they happen to be less unpleasant than the good guys, but you still really don't care what happens to them. The production values are fair and the action sequences and visual effects are well done, but the camera work is a bit of a mess. Weird angles and super wide close-ups make caricatures out of the already bizarre characters, and create an unsettling atmosphere. I really can't recommend the film to anyone except for maybe fans of Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino.