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Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse
DVD disk
Mar 29, 2005 By: The Shootin Surgeon
Crimson Rivers: Angels of the Apocalypse order
Director:
Olivier Dahan

Actors:
Jean Reno as Commissaire Niemans
Benot Magimel as Capitaine Reda
Christopher Lee as Heinrich von Garten

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A cop who specializes in strange cases is called in to investigate a rash of deaths targeting a group of followers of a man who claims to be Christ. Things tense up when the murders are traced back to a strange monastery and an ancient relic.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This is not a good movie. Its unfortunate that this isnt a good movie because its predecessor THE CRIMSON RIVERS was and when expectations are set this high, the fall is just that much more painful. The fall in this case ended with the resounding thud of a movie that tried to play on dark, mystical angle but instead ended up being some weird combination of a music video, a gothic wire-fu action flick and an episode of The X-Files without the cute redhead. The one fortunate thing is that I was able to tell about five minutes in where this was going. Im not talking as much about the plot being predictable that the whole aura of the movie and where it was trying to go. Were it not for the fact that I have to write this drivel up afterwards, I would gladly have quit while I was ahead but be warned that if you get stuck with this bomb and feel like pulling the ripcord a halfway through, youll be doing the right thing. The only thing I got out of this movie was the knowledge that Christopher Lee (played to perfection by the Wizard Saruman!) speaks better French than all Montrealers combined!

What really bugged me the most though was that Im a huge Jean Reno fan but Im starting to realize that he suffers from crapagentitis and that at least one out of every two films he stars in suck. Magimel was pretty entertaining as the requisite young rebel cop that Vincent Cassel (a.k.a. Mr. Monica Bellucci) played in the first movie. Aside from these two and Lee, I was only moved by the nurse at the hospitals front desk and by that time I was grasping at anything to save me from the ridicule of this story. Im personally starting to get a bit fed up out of movies that play on peoples newfound cynicism when it comes to anything to do with religion and religious themes. If these filmmakers think theyre original or are attempting to be controversial, they should look around at about 70% of the films coming out nowadays in which at least one line of dialogue is dedicated to just that. Either way, this movie was too lame to be considered either original or controversial and its unfortunately too lame for us to even enjoy an actor of Renos magnitude. Leave it on the shelf and prepare to beg for mercy in case some studio exec in Paris gets Crimson Rivers 3 plopped down on his desk.
THE EXTRAS
Although the offerings arent necessarily plentiful, they are however quite good. It starts off with The Making of Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse (70 mins), a making of feature that is loosely split up into different shots of the film and contains tons of on-set footage. There are a few interviews with cast members, director Dahan and other members of the filmmaking crew and although theres no real nugget of information that stood out, its still much better than the usual standard issue studio fluff.

The longer feature is followed by a set of Five Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes focusing on Lighting (5 mins), Weapons (7 mins), Design (5 mins), Corpses (5 mins) and Sound Design (5 mins). Theyre short but nonetheless pretty entertaining. My personal favorite was the Weapons featurette in which the films weapons specialist explains the wide variety of guns used in the films shootouts.

Theres also a small clip of a deleted scene entitled Deleted Scene: Strip Bar (1 min). It takes pace in a strip bar where a very hot stripper is dancing. Reno and Magimel are also in the scene but then again, so is the very hot stripper!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
With the high expectations set by the first movie in this series, the disappointment of CRIMSON RIVERS 2 may linger for a while and while Im sure some will find enjoyment in this film, the dark, stark thing just didnt work as well as it was obviously intended to for me. If youre looking for a good cop flick with an original theme and some nice cinematography, stick to CRIMSON RIVERS and ditch the 2.
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