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  Parole de Flic Delon goes Bronson on the mean streets of Paris
Year: 1985
Director: José Pinheiro
Stars: Alain Delon, Jacques Perrin, Fiona Gélin, Eva Darlan, Jean-François Stévenin, Stéphane Ferrara, Vincent Lindon, Sacha Gordine, Dominique Valera, Jean-Yves Chatelais, Jean-Philippe Lafont, Aurelle Doazan
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ex-cop Daniel Pratt (Alain Delon) lives it up on his paradise island off the African coast. Drinking, gambling, brawling, raking big bucks with his fishing business and watching hefty ladies punch it out to become his next lover. But when word arrives his daughter has been murdered, a vengeful Pratt returns to Paris and tracks down her killers: a right-wing hit squad who target teen gangs, immigrants, gays and other ‘threats to society’. Quicker than you can say Charles Bronson, our hero rubs out the bad guys, always one step ahead of useless cop Sabine (Fiona Gélin) whose idea of surveillance is lounging around cocktail bars before bedding Pratt.

This whiffy hunk of Euro-cheese features an impressively buff and bronzed, fifty-something Delon as producer, star, co-screenwriter and crooner of the end credits song. Following his award winning turn in Bertrand Blier’s Notre Musique (1984), the iconic actor is on autopilot here, but charismatic enough to keep things watchable. Pinheiro’s slack direction strains viewers’ patience, punctuating the meandering story with flatly staged action sequences. A slow-mo car chase along the Seine, set to opera music, strives for wit, but Pinheiro mostly films his shootouts like a dreary episode of T.J. Hooker. Often unintentionally hilarious, early scenes with Pratt lording it over the natives are borderline racist, while one, priceless moment has him bust through window, stare into camera and roar like a pro-wrestler gunning for a title match. Things pick up for the imaginative climax, filmed during a real circus show. We see Delon, disguised as a clown, entertaining hundreds of kids before he takes down a corrupt cop with the aid of ‘Bibi the hungry crocodile’.

If only the whole film were as deliriously daffy. Pinheiro strives for Magnum Force (1973), but lacking that groovy, exploitation vibe winds up a Gallic clone of dreary, mid-eighties Charles Bronson vehicles. Paris, postcard pretty by day, after dark becomes a neon-lit, hell on earth with gory scenes of jive-talking, break dancing teens gunned down by masked vigilantes. Pratt makes a diffident hero; indifferent to anyone’s suffering other than his own. Delon monopolizes the screen, thanks to his ego-indulging screenplay nobody else gets a look in. Drippy Sabine, with her oh-so-eighties, Princess Diana hairdo is especially disappointing. What we need is a feisty femme to put Pratt in his place, but Sabine just simpers on the sidelines. A queasy subtext to their closing scene suggests Sabine becomes Pratt’s substitute daughter, but one he can actually sleep with. Yuck.

Uncut and razor sharp on French DVD, a grainy, 4:3, English dubbed, Hong Kong disc is the only option for curious Euro-crime fans who don’t speak the language. Minor league, but worth it for dashing Delon doing his thing amidst the hilarious, disco theme sung in English: “He’s-a-helluva-guy! He’ll-punch-you-in-the-eye! And-his-name-is-Alain-De-loooon!” Or, words to that effect…

A.k.a. Cop's Honour.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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