Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
After the kidnapping of a young woman, your typical tough guy cop becomes lured into the underground to find her, and walk through a lot of great looking scenes.
Is it good movie?
Sorta. It depends on what youíre looking for. Renaissance splits its viewers into two categories: one: fans who yearn for visuals; two: fans who require a story to accompany those great effects. Now for the former, this film is tremendous. If the look and style of Sin City or Blade Runner is what youíve been waiting to see, Renaissance has it. Itís shot in beautiful black and white animation, truly a comic book come to life. Of course, fan boys have heard that term before with Sin City, where the combination of real actors and animation seemed truly breathtaking, and took the audience to a place seldom seen. Renaissance attempts to duplicate the work, and if they didnít mean to, it sure looks like it. Director Christian Volckman once again used real actors, doing motion capture and then animating the actors much like in A Scanner Darkly. Like that film, I was once again blown away by the sure look, and even if the end result didnít pan out like I had hoped, Renaissance scores points for doing something different. I can only hope that more filmmakers create adult comic films (not smut now) that give off a feeling of wonder that all movie goers, especially fans of sci-fi, yearn for. But one thing future films must avoid is falling somewhere in-between, which fans of the former should be aware of. Renaissance feels much like an extended video game, though I didnít see a controller in the DVD case. While it looks great, the pacing and lumbering dialogue isnít, and neither is the story. Perhaps thatís where the video game feel emerged. They usually have stories good enough to pull you in, but if youíre not doing the shooting or the searching, then youíre searching for the remote.
The film, a French import, attracted some great vocal talent. It stars Daniel Craig, Jonathan Pryce, and Ian Holm, all who breathe life into the tale. But it really doesnít matter who added the voices, because the animation, the visual appeal of the piece, is the true star. At times, however, Renaissance simply tries too hard to impress with effects. Where a film like Blade Runner had wondrous effects, they remained as back drop, not the focal point. Here, the film thrusts them to the front as if to say, ďLook at me!!Ē Well, I looked, but I still didnít find an intriguing story to hold my attention for 105 minutes.
Video / Audio
Video: 235.1 Widescreen - Enhanced for 16x9 TV's and looks great too!
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital
The Making of Renaissance: A 30 minute making of feature, if you didn't get that from the title. This is the type of film that needs a detailed looked at the process, and it doesn't disappoint. Good stuff. No commentary, however.
I wanted to love this the moment I saw the case. I loved the idea, I loved the premise, but all the love in the world can't make up for a less than engaging story and bad pacing. A great try, worthy of checking out.