Frantic - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frantic Reviews

Page 2 of 34
½ October 25, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

I think every director, once in their career, would want to create a thriller film, and when they do the element that would instantaneously appear on their minds would be Alfred Hitchcock. Frantic is Roman Polanski's Hitchcockian thriller film, featuring the typical male and female leads and a story that would take these two individual to a highly climactic conclusion. Frantic, for the most part achieves in its ability to thrill its audience but it lacks substance in its central character relationships and features a heavy theme that only exposes itself during the final moments of the film.

Frantic features a simple plot of a man who is searching for his wife, and in this search he finds himself surrounded and involved with the dark depths and figures of Paris. I do not want to give too much away of the plot as I think the great thing about watching a thriller, is that you never know how it would go. I never at a point felt like I could predict Frantic's conclusion, because Polanski successfully begins the film with a sense of intimacy that eventually draws itself out as the mystery slowly unfolds itself. Once the film's driving complication is in motion, Polanski creates this sense of fear and anxiety of our protagonist, due to his position in a foreign environment and lacking the resources that he requires reach his goal; this certainly resonated well with me as Polanski was able to create fear out of something, the audience cannot see. The film manages to get inside its protagonist, exposing him with subtlety; this is an aspect that many directors found to be difficult, therefore needing to explain to their audience all the time in order to convey the filmmaker's intentions. The director also managed to give us something to react to in its surface, particularly sequences during the middle chapters of the film that held such mystery and suspense that I found myself completely drawn in to the situation and its atmosphere.

Though I pleasantly enjoyed Polanski's Frantic, this was certainly one of his most hollow films I have seen. It doesn't seem to speak about something, and when it does during its conclusion, it lacks any heavy effect as the events that preceded it, lacked focus on the particular subject. Roman Polanski has achieved greatly in creating a terrifying and palpable atmosphere in Rosemary's Baby, and I expected to experience the same here with Frantic. The director had the opportunity to create something similar for Frantic, but he seemed to be more concerned with the performances of his actors and the capturing the narrative, that he seems to have forgotten the technical aspects of it.

The film also barely delivers any real substance in the chemistry between the two leading characters. I hoped that their relationship with each other would bring out sides of them that would at least reflect on why they are able to work well with another or why one feels safe with the other person's presence. Though in saying all of this, I cannot state that I found the characters dull or uninteresting, because the performances that were given to these roles were strong. It was definitely pleasant to see Harrison Ford play a character that was within reach, as most of his iconic roles are figures who naturally possesses talent that would have them easily break out of a tough situation, here Ford's role is always at the mercy of others, and could only do so much to reach his goal. Ford was paired up with the fresh Emmanuelle Siegner, who represents the typical Hitchcockian blonde, that actually plays a large role in Ford's search and even when danger strikes, she is not completely reliant on Ford to save her; she is an individual who knows what she wants and will do what she can in order to get it.

Frantic brings enough of its plot to keep me entertained all the way through, but due to its lack of thematic substance, I find it difficult to see myself further enjoying it. Though, who knows?, maybe I'm wrong.
October 20, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

I think every director, once in their career, would want to create a thriller film, and when they do the element that would instantaneously appear on their minds would be Alfred Hitchcock. Frantic is Roman Polanski's Hitchcockian thriller film, featuring the typical male and female leads and a story that would take these two individual to a highly climactic conclusion. Frantic, for the most part achieves in its ability to thrill its audience but it lacks substance in its central character relationships and features a heavy theme that only exposes itself during the final moments of the film.

Frantic features a simple plot of a man who is searching for his wife, and in this search he finds himself surrounded and involved with the dark depths and figures of Paris. I do not want to give too much away of the plot as I think the great thing about watching a thriller, is that you never know how it would go. I never at a point felt like I could predict Frantic's conclusion, because Polanski successfully begins the film with a sense of intimacy that eventually draws itself out as the mystery slowly unfolds itself. Once the film's driving complication is in motion, Polanski creates this sense of fear and anxiety of our protagonist, due to his position in a foreign environment and lacking the resources that he requires reach his goal; this certainly resonated well with me as Polanski was able to create fear out of something, the audience cannot see. The film manages to get inside its protagonist, exposing him with subtlety; this is an aspect that many directors found to be difficult, therefore needing to explain to their audience all the time in order to convey the filmmaker's intentions. The director also managed to give us something to react to in its surface, particularly sequences during the middle chapters of the film that held such mystery and suspense that I found myself completely drawn in to the situation and its atmosphere.

Though I pleasantly enjoyed Polanski's Frantic, this was certainly one of his most hollow films I have seen. It doesn't seem to speak about something, and when it does during its conclusion, it lacks any heavy effect as the events that preceded it, lacked focus on the particular subject. Roman Polanski has achieved greatly in creating a terrifying and palpable atmosphere in Rosemary's Baby, and I expected to experience the same here with Frantic. The director had the opportunity to create something similar for Frantic, but he seemed to be more concerned with the performances of his actors and the capturing the narrative, that he seems to have forgotten the technical aspects of it.

The film also barely delivers any real substance in the chemistry between the two leading characters. I hoped that their relationship with each other would bring out sides of them that would at least reflect on why they are able to work well with another or why one feels safe with the other person's presence. Though in saying all of this, I cannot state that I found the characters dull or uninteresting, because the performances that were given to these roles were strong. It was definitely pleasant to see Harrison Ford play a character that was within reach, as most of his iconic roles are figures who naturally possesses talent that would have them easily break out of a tough situation, here Ford's role is always at the mercy of others, and could only do so much to reach his goal. Ford was paired up with the fresh Emmanuelle Siegner, who represents the typical Hitchcockian blonde, that actually plays a large role in Ford's search and even when danger strikes, she is not completely reliant on Ford to save her; she is an individual who knows what she wants and will do what she can in order to get it.

Frantic brings enough of its plot to keep me entertained all the way through, but due to its lack of thematic substance, I find it difficult to see myself further enjoying it. Though, who knows?, maybe I'm wrong.
½ July 27, 2014
(First and only viewing - 10/14/2010)
½ May 28, 2014
An effective and old fashioned thriller
½ March 30, 2014
Or the One Where Harrison Ford Wants Someone to "Give Him Back His Family"... In French...

Better than your usual "missing person" thriller and more tense than your regular European kidnapping action film, Roman Polanski delivers a thrilling ride with Frantic. Harrison Ford gives a strong performance as a man who searches for answers and his missing wife throughout the city of Paris. Thanks to deliberate pacing, Polanski allows us to grow fond of the characters so that the stakes of the film seem organic and real. Unfortunately when the third act reveals the real stakes of the film it feels so unnecessarily contrived that the conclusion is weaker than the first three-quarters of the film. In the end, Frantic is a good thriller from a great director.
½ February 9, 2014
An underrated and easily overlooked thriller from Roman Polanski. The story is involving even when you are quite sure how it will go.
½ January 9, 2014
Polanski at his most Hitchcokian this is. The initial half is excellent and flies by as Harrison Ford blunders around Paris as the classic fish out of water desperately trying to find his wife. An overlong second half, a weird obsession with some terrible 80's French song and a lame Nuclear zapper stick let the film down ultimately, but this is still an enjoyable thriller.
December 6, 2013
Many directors have been inspired by Alfred Hitchcock. So it's no surprise that Roman, a big name director for many years would bring us a mystery thriller about a man who's wife disappears during a trip to France. The only clue Dr. Walker and the audience is left with is a briefcase that doesn't belong to his wife.

Like so many of these type of movies, Dr. Walker (Harrison Ford) goes to the law enforcement, hotel management and pretty much everywhere else searching for his wife. Feeling annoyed and slighted that law enforcement isn't talking him seriously, he decides to open the mystery briefcase only to come up with nothing... Other than a pack of matches with a name on it. Where does it lead? You guessed it, more questions than answers.

Naturally Dr. Walker is growing more and more frustrated with the lack of answers. Alienation is a big theme here. And I was just as alienated as Mr. Walker. Frantic is a very slow paced film with lots of details, but once Dr. Walker meets courier Michelle (Emmanuelle Seigner)the film gets a bit sloppy and awkward. Including an extended dancing scene that really has no purpose. But largely it's a lot of searching through the drug/club culture for answers. None of which was all that surprising or very tense.

And I guess it's not totally fair to expect this dated film to hold up all that well, but the twists and turns never lead to anywhere interesting. And as for the conclusion, it ends fairly routine and not very impressionable. It's easy to see how despite being made from a top notch director, this film has been largely forgotten about. After all, it's clearly no Chinatown.
September 7, 2013
Frantic is a myster-thriller - a French film directed and co-written by Roman Polanski along with his longtime collaborator writer Gérard Brach. Film stars Harrison Ford, Emmanuelle Seigner.(French actress and wife of Roman Polanski) and Betty Buckley. Italian movie-composer legendary Ennio Morricone provided its taunting theme music.

Richard (Harrison Ford) is an American doctor visiting Paris visiting his wife long after their honeymoon in the city; to attend the meeting conference - his wife seems to have picked up wrong bank at the airport since it does not open up, as Richard is in shower taking a bath in the Le Grand Hotel rue Scribe Paris 9, when he comes out he finds no trace of his wife - and thus starts the FRANTIC.

Only Roman Polanski could have made such thriller - I was completely enthralled by the performance of Harrison Ford (I know he is usual in most films but in this film you can explicitly see the look of 'frantic' guy) - it is so dashingly made in aesthetic city of Paris, the morning drive via car show the chilliness of the city going to offer the protagonists. Music-score is like garner on it. I have my utmost argument with the last sad part of movie; but what can say to talented guy like Roman Polanski.
September 4, 2013
Seeing it a second time reduced my initial hatred. Primarily for Polanksi completists, its biggest flaw is a lazy beginning. The second half, post-rooftop, is amazing. It makes you wish the first had been more.
August 18, 2013
Solid but a bit uneven and lacking a believable final plot twist
July 9, 2013
It's a step up from your typical thriller until the end where you find out that it is your typical thriller.
June 25, 2013
Classic movie ... underrated in my opinion.. Great film, atmospheric thriller and very original...
June 25, 2013
all of Harrison Ford's bad movies have the distinction of being so bad that even he couldn't save them, which is saying quite a bit.
June 22, 2013
Un estilo visual que goza de limpieza, y una trama interesante.
June 14, 2013
Frantic is a good thriller which is made in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock. An ordinary man finds himself in an extraordinary situation in a strange land.
Roman Polanski even uses a MacGuffin as an excuse to keep the story going.
½ May 25, 2013
While it may not be one of Polanski's best films it is still a intriguing and gripping thriller.
May 12, 2013
Dank meinem Vater, komme ich recht häufig mit halbvergessenen Filmen der 80er Jahre in Berührung. Komödien wie The Money Pit", Krimis wie The Big Easy" oder auch Frantic", ein eher mittelmäßiges Werk im großen Oeuvre des französisch-polnischen Regisseurs Roman Polanski.

Die Opening Credits lesen sich beeindruckend - Harrison Ford in der Titelrolle, ein Score von Ennio Morricone (mit ein wenig zu viel Synthesizern und Pop-Songs meines Erachtens) und Roman Polanski als Produzent, Autor und Regisseur.

Ford spielt einen Chirurgen, der mit seiner Frau in Paris einen Kongress besucht. Um sich noch einen schönen Tag zu machen, reisen sie einen Tag früher an, aber bereits nach kurzem Aufenthalt, verschwindet die Frau aus dem Hotelzimmer und bleibt wie vom Erdboden verschluckt.

In bester Harrison Ford Manier, und als Vorbote für The Fugitive" eine halbe Dekade später, begibt sich Ford auf die Suche durch Paris, stolpert durch Nachtklubs, trifft auf arabische Terroristen, Drogendealer und andere Seltsamkeiten.

Polanski zielt dabei wohl auf den Hitchcock-Effekt, indem er den unbedarften Jedermann" zum großen Suchenden macht, endet den Film aber mit einem Finale, das mehr als zu wünschen übrig lässt. Hätte Hitchcock seiner Zeit, solch plumpe Auflösungen verwendet, wäre er nie zum Master of Suspense geworden.

Hier sieht man ganz deutlich was einen guten Film bzw. einen guten Regisseur von einem Meisterwerk unterscheidet.

Abgesehen vom enttäuschenden Ende, das dem Spannungsaufbau nicht gerecht wird, ist auch der ganze Stil des Films recht gewöhnungsbedürftig. Über weite Strecken sehr komplex (recht starke französische Akzente, die wichtige Plot Points erklären sind da auch eher hinderlich), typisch 80er Jahre psychedelisch und teilweise von ähnlich undurchschaubarer Symbolik geprägt wie das verhasste The Ninth Gate".

Der verwirrte Mann im Großstadtdschungel, mit guten Ansätzen, aber schlussendlich nicht wirklich überzeugend. Ein Nebenwerk von Polanski, spannend und unterhaltsam, aber kein Muss für Nicht-Polanski-Freaks.
½ April 29, 2013
Frantic is a slow moving but enjoyable suspense film from director Roman Polanski. Harrison Ford stars and Emmanuelle Seigner lends a fantastic hand making Frantic a well acted albeit a touch slow for the suspense genre. Frantic isn't one of Polanski's better efforts (mostly due to the fact that it lacks his surrealist touches) but is saved by the appealing nature of Seingner and Ford.
April 19, 2013
While not as good as many of Polanski's other films, Frantic is an entertaining film in the vein of Hitchcock's Man Who Knew Too Much.
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