“Papillon” wants to play more a historical piece than macho action movie. The original film wasn’t that action driven, but McQueen was allowed to give the mainstream audience something to enjoy. Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek dominate this film in a young actor brooding contest. Neither try to emulate McQueen or Hoffman, but they also don’t really try to find the meat behind their characters. I get that Hunnam plays up how imprisonment is making him go crazy.
It’s just a case of what next? It’s been said elsewhere on AndersonVision that the film was hurt by its lack of purpose. Well, even the original film had to play it straight to keep the audience off that fact. Devil’s Island might be frightening, but what about is different than any remote prison of the past? What hurts this film so much more than the original is the remake lack charisma. That lack of substantial personality turns the film into a constant reminder of something better available on Amazon. Oh wait, the original movie is currently Out of Print. Surely, that can’t be a coincidence.
If you’re young, then I guess this is a starting point. Just be aware that a better film exists out there. Oh well, I can think of worse ways to kill a weekend.
- 2 hr and 13 mins
- Bleecker Street