Sep 15, 2008


Of all of Jan Kounen's works that I have seen so far, I regrettably find Blueberry (Also known as Renegade) to be his most insufficient attempt at another genre hybrid. Blueberry is a mythological western on the verge of The Road to El Dorado meets Tombstone; a film encompassing most aspects towards the rural life of the glamorized cowboy in the wild west, but also branches out towards the Injun side of life which includes their traditions, seeing freaky hallucinations, and also being the middle man between two warring civilizations.

Jan Kounen is a director that is very misunderstood in his native land of France. Most of his films have a eccentric touch to them that might fly right over French viewer's heads. Them Frenchies must not take to kindly to films that transcend over France's "unique" romanticist view on everything. Take Dobermann for example; that film took an American action feel and relayed it over a hyper-kinetic French cast which resulted in an explosive good time.

Blueberry however, is a solid excuse for their dissent towards the film, the border breaking, and the director. As a fan of many other of Kounen's works, Blueberry isn't the healthy polished film that I wanted from a film with Cassel as the lead character. This plays out as Cassel's mildest film. In all of his American roles, he adopts an accent to humanize his character with his surroundings, but in Blueberry, his accent was a neutral American and needed more southern twang.

The last 20 minutes or so is a heavy dose of articulate CGI as Cassel's and Madsen's mind initiates a spiritual battle and the personality of the film wears thin. In this scene, the true natures of both men show as spiders and snakes along with other creatures and anemones slither across the screen, relaying Cassel's memories. As this scene chugs by, you find yourself getting bored with the Michael Bay infused hallucinogen commercial and you wait for a hint of plot driven dialogue as you sit perturbed on a couch.

Blueberry is just another comic book serialization that links a leading French actor with many dying American stars such as Michael Madsen, Julliette Lewis in the nude, and Eddie Izzard. Not that there are many like this, but the film wears thin easy. I found the nature of the film to be whole-hearted but lacks any fiber that can make it worth its hefty run time. It would be best to see this film for a grizzled Vincent Cassel tripping balls, but that is about all I can recommend from it.


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