Renaissance/ dir. Christian Volkman/ 2006/ France
Taking place in the futuristic Paris of 2054, Renaissance is the story of Karas, a policeman with controversial methods, as he tries to solve not only the abduction of a young researcher and scientist Llona Tasuiev, but her connection to a secret project from the uber-corporation Avalon.
The visuals and art style of Renaissance is what made me want to see this movie. I make it no secret that I enjoy the noir-ish, high contrast black and white art styles of Sin City and MadWorld (which I still have yet to play). And make no mistake, Renaissance is GORGEOUS! Beautifully animated, with a flair and style I have never seen in animated films.
The director, creators, and writers tried to come up with a story and feeling that mixed steam-punk, sci-fi, mystery, crime drama, and thriller all together. Too bad, all that came out was another cliched police crime drama. With dialouge like this:
Bislane (Llona’s sister): “Why are you in the police force if it is so destructive and corrupt?”
Karas: “Because it’s the only world I know”
I couldn’t help but groan. (Hit the jump to read the rest of the Review)
Maybe I was a little harsh. If you can make it through 3/4 of the movie, the story twist and sequences near the end of the film are really engaging. Add to that Karas’ moral dilemma at the end, and the last 1/4 of the movie almost saves the entire story. Almost… I wish more time was spent on moral dilemmas and choices, but bland characters and a weak story does not a good movie make.
The real draw, as stated before are the visuals. This movie is one of those where you can just look at it and be amazed. The most spectacular sight is the futuristic Paris setting. In addition to futuristic and utopian designs, some of the older prefectures are still intact. I think the term is retro-futuristic. I’ve never been to Paris, but from first viewing, the creators have captured the essence of Paris, even though it is set in the future,which is no easy task. The only reason to see this movie is to gawk at it.
In fact, I would add this movie to probrown’s list of foreign films for stoners with longer attention spans than most other stoners.