ZULU is an adaptation of a novel by Caryl Ferey released in 2008 and multi-awarded. If I did indeed not read it, it seemed to on paper an excellent medium for a thriller film exotic, particularly with the framework of the South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, to set up its plot and its characters still marked by the historical reality of the country. The French director Jérôme Salle is gone at the end of the idea of the veracity of the universe of the film component in a very big part of his team and his cast (with the exception of the headliners) south african. And we can at least give ZULU the merit of the change of scenery and to raise issues of this country pretty cleared in our minds of europeans, up until the recent death of Nelson Mandela, who delivers, at the time I write these lines, the history of this country at the center of the information.
For the rest, to tell the truth, we revert. The heads of posters that are Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom are well enough in their roles, but their characters remain in a posture broadly caricatured throughout the film with a classic duo of investigators totally different (one black / one white, a junkie / a wise, etc). The other players defend themselves quite well in itself, but the whole of their benefit is wasted by scenes so cliché or ridiculous that you laugh, sometimes to the detriment of the film is extremely dark, and sometimes very violent. The scene of the announcement of the death of the young teenager with his father at the beginning of the film is simply grand-guignolesque, and I won’t even have the never-ending chase to the final, where all the dramatic tension is drained away for the benefit of the simple ridiculous.
A novel a priori strong at the outset, heads, posters, respectable and a visual world that is exotic is not enough to do away with the clichés of the script and scenes and dialogues unacceptable in a movie pretending to be serious towards his subject.
We may, however, recognize Jerome Hall, in spite of the errors unforgivable as those I have just mentioned, a certain know-how of achieving “the american way” that avoids (with regret ?) an interpretation that is more cerebral or contemplative of the scenario, even if the whole remains generally too wise in light of the promises rather shock of the trailer. In short, he is a maker honest, but the result is clearly not up to the task and leaves the viewer unsatisfied, in the same way as his two films Largo Winch had done before. We do not get bored, but we laugh sometimes to the detriment of the film.
ZULU had the potential. A novel a priori strong at the outset, heads, posters, respectable and a visual world that is exotic is not enough to do away with the clichés of the script and scenes and dialogues unacceptable in a movie pretending to be serious towards his subject.
In a South Africa still haunted by apartheid, two police officers, one black, one white, are in hot pursuit of the murderer, wild of a teenage girl. In the Townships of cape town to luxurious villas by the sea, this survey is going to upset the lives of two men and force them to confront their inner demons.
• Original title : Zulu
• Realisation : Jérôme Salle
• Screenplay : Jérôme Salle and Julien Rappeneau, based on the novel by Caryl Ferey
• Main actors : Forest Whitaker, Orlando Bloom, Conrad Kemp…
• Country of origin : France
• Output : 4 December 2013
• Duration : 1 hour and 50 minutes
• Distributor : Pathé Distribution
• Trailer :
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