Review: ‘Profil Bas’

Also with: Jacques Rosny, Jean-Louis Tribes, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, Arnaud Giovaninetti.

Also with: Jacques Rosny, Jean-Louis Tribes, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, Arnaud Giovaninetti.

“Low Profile” is an uneven police thriller about a burnt-out cop who dupes a corrupt superior by masterminding a one-man crime spree. Pic will entertain auds with low expectations, plus femme fans of likable actor/singer Patrick Bruel’s buns. Bruel’s following has helped the movie make a dent at the Gallic B.O., and pic will play dandy on the tube.

Helmer Claude Zidi, who marshaled fine comic timing in the law-enforcement comedies “Les Ripoux” (“My New Partner”) and “La Totale,” here delivers an intriguing opening, lame middle, OK third act and a fair dose of action.

Traitorous inspector Carre (Didier Bezace, unsubtle), in league with big-time dope dealer Roche (Jean-Louis Tribes), is intent on framing disillusioned but honest cop-on-the-beat Julien Segal (Bruel) to look like a turncoat. When Carre’s plan misfires, Segal resolves to fight evil with evil, moonlighting as an invincible thief.

His ally in crime, lovely young nightclubber Claire (Sandra Speichert), insists on bedding Segal in record time, turning an initially gritty tale into a ludicrously trumped-up romance awash with cliched dialogue. Plot hinges on a few convenient developments, which Bruel’s mild manners and puppy-dog eyes almost carry off.

As the masked Segal finds holdups to his liking, Carre squirms in the face of a crime wave he’s powerless to stop. Amusing and suspenseful stunts include a payroll heist in an elevator shaft.

Bruel acquits himself well as the soft-spoken tough guy transformed from unenthusiastic loser to take-charge winner. Lensing and editing suit the nighttime atmosphere of Paris’ working-class suburbs.

Profil Bas

(FRENCH)

Production

An AMLF release of a Films 7/Film par Film/TF1 Films production, in association with Sofica Investimage 2 and participation of Canal Plus. (International sales: Roissy Films, Paris.) Produced by Claude Zidi, Jean-Louis Livi. Directed by Zidi. Screenplay, Simon Michael, Didier Kaminka, Zidi.

Crew

Camera (color), Francois Latonne; editor, Nicole Saunier; music, Gabriel Yared; production design, Francoise de Leu; costume design, Saphira Adam; sound (Dolby) , Pierre Gamet. Reviewed at Montparnasse Cinema, Paris, Jan. 5, 1994. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Julien ... Patrick Bruel Claire ... Sandra Speichert Carre ... Didier Bezace Plana ... Jean Yanne
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