Frantic is a thriller without much surprise, suspense or excitement. Drama about an American doctor’s desperate search for his kidnapped wife through the demi-monde of Paris reveals director Roman Polanski’s personality and enthusiasm only in brief humorous moments.
San Francisco medic Harrison Ford arrives in Paris with wife Betty Buckley to deliver a paper at a conference and, incidentally, to revisit the scene of their honeymoon 20 years before. While Ford is showering, Buckley disappears from the hotel room, thus setting off an urgent woman-hunt that takes the distraught husband to young Emmanuelle Seigner, a sleek, punky drugette and nightclubber who appears to be the only lead to the kidnappers.
The McGuffin, or object of everyone’s pursuit, here is a miniature Statue of Liberty which contains an object that, predictably, could endanger the Free World. Action climax takes place alongside the small-scale replica of France’s gift to New York Harbor.
Ford sweats a lot while conveying Polanski’s view that anxiety is the natural state of the human condition. His latest discovery, Seigner, certainly is eye-catching and proves servicable in her part.