L'aîné des Ferchaux (Magnet of Doom) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

L'aîné des Ferchaux (Magnet of Doom) Reviews

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July 5, 2015
Episodic, slow-moving melodrama.
April 14, 2013
There's probably a reason that this is one of the hardest to find of Jean-Pierre Melville's films -- despite another star turn by Belmondo (excellent in Le Doulos), it isn't particularly good. The opening boxing scene with its dream-like rendering of a noir cliche really had me thinking I'd struck cinema gold and there are still a number of great Melvillian moments. But when Belmondo and the corrupt older banker hightail it to New York and begin their slow journey to New Orleans, the pacing falters and the movie loses direction. Sure, Melville seems to be having a great time touring the US (and even shows us Sinatra's childhood home in Hoboken); knowing that he's in the car himself (whether he really was or not) gives this a Kiarostami feel -- an extra layer to think about. In the end, though, watching this "old married couple" argue about Belmondo's freedom or lack thereof wasn't the noir payoff I was hoping for.
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