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Heros

A stylized, punishing and seemingly endless sequestration drama, "Heros" is ambitiously irritating. In a tour-de-force departure from stoner comedies and "Jackass"-style pranks, comic Michael Youn delivers as a sad clown.

With:
With: Michael Youn, Patrick Chesnais, Raphael Benayoun, Elodie Bouchez, Jackie Berroyer

A stylized, punishing and seemingly endless sequestration drama, “Heros” is ambitiously irritating. In a tour-de-force departure from stoner comedies and “Jackass”-style pranks, comic Michael Youn delivers as a sad clown. But by the time strident venture breaks the fourth wall, most viewers will want to make a break for it. Even given a charitable reading as an exorcism of regret crossed with a cautionary tale on how the supposed rewards of showbiz supersede rational human behavior, one suspects the words “Who is this for?” were never uttered.

Pic exasperates from initial frames as Pierre (Youn) warms up a studio audience with aggressive patter. After three years of frenetic pre-how antics, Pierre snaps and kidnaps Clovis Costa (Patrick Chesnais), a beloved rock singer pushing 60. Pierre’s ransom request is a radical gambit. Juggling square video imagery and full widescreen, pic boasts impressively sordid production design and arresting visual intrusions, but pales alongside inspirations such as “The King of Comedy” (a musician is listed as ‘Ruppert Pupkin’) and “Swimming With Sharks.” Embedded in a better film, “I have a gun and I haven’t slept for six days,” might have become a catchphrase.

Heros

France

Production: A Shellac release of a Les Films du Requin, Arte France Cinema, Artistic Images production. (International sales: Coach 14, Paris). Produced by Cyril Auriac, Valentine Beraud, Jean des Forets. Directed by Bruno Merle. Screenplay, Bruno Merle, Emmanuelle Destremau, Michael Youn;

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Georges Diane; editor, Elise Fievet; music, Clement Terry, Ruppert Pupkin; production designer, Prudence Richard. Reviewed at Club Marboeuf, Paris, May 2, 2007. (In Cannes Film Festival -- Critics Week, opener.) Running time: 118 MIN.

With: With: Michael Youn, Patrick Chesnais, Raphael Benayoun, Elodie Bouchez, Jackie Berroyer

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