Wednesday, September 4, 2013
I don't spend a lot of time re-reading my old reviews, but I must admit I rather liked my note on 2011's French import "Love Crime": http://www.jordanonfilm.com/2011/09/love-crime-much-more-fun-than-good-movie.html#more . Now Brian DePalma has remade "Love Crime" as "Passion," and I'm afraid to say all he's achieved is to eliminate (most of) the campy laughs that made the original, as I called it, more fun than a good movie.
Replacing Kristin Scott Thomas with Rachel McAdams? As they used to say on VH1's "Best Week Ever," downgrade! Casting Noomi Rapace in the Ludivine Sagnier part? Upgrade! But in a way, even this works against "Passion." First, since McAdams and Rapace are contemporaries, the mentor-pupil tension goes missing. Second, it's one thing to watch a no-talent bimbo like Sagnier slap her car door in frustration and crash into a parking lot pillar. It's quite another to put Rapace through the same paces, to make a smart actress play dumb.
DePalma being DePalma, the trusty male secretary from "Love Crime" is jettisoned in favor of Dani, a sexy redheaded lesbian (Karoline Herfurth). Again, upgrade! But having suffered through two iterations now, I feel qualified to pronounce the underlying material weak. It's a thriller without thrills, set in a corporate world that's unrecognizable (and comically dimly lit). And DePalma hasn't gotten rid of all the unintentional laughs. He sets the climax to the sort of pounding violin crescendo that more commonly accompanies multiple knife thrusts in gorefests.