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The Emperor of Paris

  • Action
  • Crime/detective
  • 2018
  • Jean-François Richet
  • 115 mins
  • 15

Summary

Vidocq escapes captivity in 1805; years later he's a fabric merchant in Paris under an alias. He makes a deal of amnesty for catching criminals. He builds an efficient team of ex-cons to catch or kill them.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Capable of convincing as saint or sinner, French superstar Vincent Cassel is (eventually) on the side of the angels in this stylish, historically illuminating period drama about real-life criminal-turned-crime-fighter François Vidocq. Following a Houdini-like escape from penal servitude in 1805, Vidocq goes into hiding but his identity is exposed years later and he's forced to use his encyclopedic inside knowledge to clean up the Parisian underworld in exchange for amnesty. He's aided by a motley crew of society's discards, including his prostitute lover (Freya Mavor), but there's resistance from Denis Ménochet's brutish cop, the "Napoleon of the Underworld" (played with relish by Denis Lavant), an old cellmate-turned-killer (August Diehl) and a seductively manipulative baroness (Olga Kurylenko). Director Jean-François Richet's good-looking adventure is not in the class of gangster epic Mesrine, his terrific 2008 collaboration with Cassel, but the star's steely charisma more than compensates as does the cracking finale in a subterranean lair.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
François VidocqVincent Cassel
HenryPatrick Chesnais
NathanaëlAugust Diehl
The BaronessOlga Kurylenko
MaillardDenis Lavant
AnnetteFreya Mavor
DubillardDenis Ménochet
CourtaudJérôme Pouly
FouchéFabrice Luchini
Marshal NeyJean-François Richet

Crew

rolename
DirectorJean-François Richet

Details

Languages
French
Guidance
Violence, brief nudity
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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