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Overall Rating
3.09

Awesome: 27.27%
Worth A Look: 9.09%
Average: 9.09%
Pretty Bad54.55%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 5 user ratings


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French Connection II
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by Slyder

"A solid yet totally disappointing follow-up to the original"
2 stars

After the groundbreaking success of The French Connection, many people were left disappointed due to the fact that in the end the bad guy was never caught. I guess that’s the main reason why the studio ordered a sequel to be made, because I couldn't FATHOM why would anyone would make a sequel to a complete film like the first one. Oh yeah, I know, the whole "good guy has to get the bad guy" thing of course. In the end it turned out to be a lame-ass excuse since the result became an interesting, but ultimately disappointing sequel that just simply doesn’t live up to the original and tries to tie up loose ends that were never meant to be tied at all. All thanks to simple-minded ignorant people that missed the point of the original.

The story? Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) decides to go to Marseilles, France to try and catch drug kingpin Alain Charnier (Fernando Rey). He’s being assigned to Inspector Henri Barthelemy (Bernard Fresson) in order to catch him. Unfortunately, and predictably so, Charnier manages to catch Doyle first, and makes him a junkie, so he could go away, but he cleans up by going “cold turkey” and goes after Charnier’s ass more than ever.

You can tell that this film is just simply a studio marketing ploy by just looking at the tagline “THE FRENCH CONNECTION was only the beginning-THIS is the climax.” Well, if this is the climax, it’s a very damn disappointing one. Screenwriters Robert and Laurie Dillon and Alexander Jacobs completely flip the whole premise upside down; gone is the fast-paced suspense and originality that made the first one so great. Instead, you get a predictable, half-baked character driven drama that falls victim of it’s own clichés and most painfully, the clichés it once fiercely stood against. Never mind the silliness of sending someone that doesn’t know jackshit of French language. The whole first half is just droning-around-the-city boring. Nothing special happens, and even when Doyle is kidnapped it’s just plain uninspired, hell, the whole damn thing is just plain uninspired.

The ever-reliable director John Frankenheimer does what he can with the material and instead of relying on the hokey story, he concentrates on Hackman’s character as he struggles to get out of his forced heroin addiction, and it’s Hackman’s performance that makes this film watchable at all, but it’s cleat that there’s one part trying to make for two in the film. The first one was great because it cncentrated not only on Doyle’s obsessions, but also on the story; here, Doyle is just the focal point and not much development is given to the story which in itself was predictable from the very beginning. The chase on foot is just simply boring and of course, the film ends with the totally predictable climax when Doyle gets his man. And by then, most of the people that lauded and cherished the original one won’t even care.

In the end, this film is only recommended to die-hard fans of the “franchise,” a franchise that should’ve never appeared in the first place. This film is just the product of narrow-minded studio executives and ignorant people that were still living in the 50’s and 60’s where everything has to be black and white regardless, that the good guy will always get the bad guy no matter what and totally missed the point of the original movie’s attempt to bring a more realistic tone to the police thriller genre. It’s not a bad film, but it’s far from being a good film and miles away from living up to the original. Personally, a waste of time and money and a film that I could do without. 2-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8707&reviewer=235
originally posted: 07/30/04 08:43:30
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User Comments

1/08/07 action movie fan good sequel-chase scenes are exciting 4 stars
6/27/05 goatfarmer better than the first: the addiction scene is superb 5 stars
7/30/04 Jack Bourbon Quite different than the first film, but great in its own right. 5 stars
2/20/04 john a powerful sequel to the original - as good as #1 5 stars
2/08/04 Jack Sommersby Too talky and episodic, but Hackman and a few excellent scenes make it OK. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-May-1975 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Jul-1975




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