Thierry Lhermitte and Miou-Miou top the bill in this well-intended but somewhat over-the-top
thriller parody from director Claude Zidi. Although there are a few very funny comic
sequences, and the basic premise of the film is an appealing one, Zidi doesn't quite
manage to pull this one off. (Lhermitte's previous collaboration with Zidi,
(1984) is a much better film.) The pace of the film is uneven,
some of the dialogue is painfully trite, and the parody sequences are too “obvious”
to be really effective. That said, there are a few plus points. Michel
Boujenah is terrific as the mysterious Simon (is he Arthur Daley's apprentice or Osama
Bin Laden's second lieutenant?), the episode with the bugged handbag is hilarious, and
the scene near the end where Miou-Miou is accidentally transformed in "Mrs Terminator"
has to be seen to be believed. Not the most sophisticated or well-oiled of comedy
thrillers, but La Totale!
just about passes
As often happens with popular French comedies, an American re-make of the film hit
the screens a few years later. Directed by James Cameron and starring none other
than Arnold Schwarzenegger, True Lies
proved to be an international hit, and a rare exception of an American re-make being better
than the original French film that inspired it.
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