Sunday, December 04, 2005

Classe Tous Risques

Classe Tous Resques isn't so classy or risky a venture--instead, it is as presumably entertaining (60's era gangster Belmondo) as it is entirely predictable. Lino Ventura is the aging gangster who, because to his slow draw, loses his wife and partner in a battle with the cops (in front of his two children, at that); Belmondo is the hired gun that rescues Ventura and his children; Sandra Milo is the battered woman that Belmondo rescues and woos. It is not so much a suspense picture as it is the slow death of the iconic noir machismo. Ventura is of the Dana Andrews old-school, the women-slapping kind. Belmondo, fresh off of Breathless, is the new-school hero, equal parts John Garfield's charming brutality and James Dean's sensitivity. The story doesn't add up to much, and it's hard to imagine a gangster wanted for murder sleeping on the beach with his children, but these improbabilities are classic signs of the gangster ego--he defies all logic and gets away (sometimes) with it--so they should be expect and, ultimately, enjoyed.

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