rocknblues' Review of Frantic
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.