Thursday, January 6, 2005

Movie: Red Lights

Posted on Thu, Jan 6, 2005 at 4:00 AM

**1/2

Red Lights
Length: 1 hour, 46 minutes
Studio: Wellspring Media
Website: http://www.wellspring.com/movies/movie.html?movie_id=49
Release Date: 2004-01-07
Cast: Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Deniard, Charline Paul, Jean-Pierre Gros
Director: Cédric Kahn
Screenwriter: Cédric Kahn, Gilles Marchand
WorkNameSort: Red Lights
Our Rating: 2.50

Wanna feel old? It's been almost a quarter-century since For Your Eyes Only's Carole Bouquet was said to be on the verge of a major international breakthrough. Yet here she is, weathering the animosity of an abusive on-screen spouse in French director Cédric Kahn's pokey highway thriller. Bouquet and her (far worse) better half are traveling by car from Paris to Basque to collect their kids from summer camp – on the most dangerous motoring day of the year. That doesn't stop Mr. Wonderful from driving too fast, inhaling copious amounts of whiskey and berating the missus so mercilessly that she abandons him in the middle of the night to finish her trip by train. Replacing her in the shotgun seat is a dangerous fugitive with whom the derisive husband feels a spiritual bond. Filmmaker Kahn (adapting a novel by Georges Simenon) renders these occurrences so slowly and deliberately that you assume he's laying the groundwork for a grand shell game, but nope – everything that ensues is exactly what we expect to ensue, doled out with a fastidiousness that places too high a priority on verisimilitude and not enough on, y'know, entertainment. In the end, the movie fancies itself a statement on male rage and guilty conscience, but it's only 100 percent effective as a public-service warning against picking up strangers when you're half in the bag.

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