Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My only brief recognition of the character of Largo Winch came about when I had heard that there was a videogame in the works for this character some years ago. This dude I know even had a copy of said videogame for his old XBOX and he was showing it to me while I was over at his crib one day and obviously he found this game from somewhere because it was clearly unfinished. Now this movie comes out and after seeing Jerome Salle’s film version ‘Largo Winch’ I know all about the history of this character and why in the region that this film originated that success seems almost unattainable for this particular movie, due to the knowledge and love that fans of Largo Winch have for the books he came from and the character himself. I respect that and I defer to the opinions of those individuals because this is their character. As a complete newcomer to the character I personally thought this movie ‘Largo Winch’ was some high entertainment. Maybe not the cleverest movie around but a sprawling action flick at its core which consistently delivers.

We meet self made billionaire Nerio Winch (Miki Manojlovic) on his yacht while somebody on the end of his phone line is driving his stress levels sky high. Needing to cool down from this phone call Nerio steps out onto the deck of this floating palace only to be pulled down to his death by some scuba diver. Who would want to kill this guy? Well, a lot of folks as it would turn out but this unfortunate event has thrown his mega corporation into some financial uncertainty. Nerio, a complete control freak, planned for this and since I imagine he didn’t have time for love and baby making in the traditional way he went and adopted himself a child some years ago with the boy primed over the course of his life for just this moment in time.

This boy of course would be Largo Winch, and when we first meet the man Largo (Tomer Sisley) he is getting a tattoo which legend has it renders the recipient invincible. He will need this to be true. Largo proceeds to risk his life rescuing a distressed damsel who shows her thanks by blessing Largo with the always welcome gift of temporary love. He earned it so we’re not mad at him, but what he probably didn’t earn was getting drugged by this woman and framed as an international drug smuggler. I guess this is what they mean by give and take.

Eventually Largo works this situation out, more or less, in his special Largo way, and given the news of his adoptive fathers death he makes his way to Paris or Hong Kong or some big city I can’t remember to reluctantly assume his position as CEO of the Winch Group. The vast majority of the board has no interest in turning over operations of this twenty billion dollar corporation to this loose cannon of a young man, but he does have one loyal confidant in his father’s right hand woman Ann Ferguson (Kristin Scott Thomas) who seems to have all the faith in the world in young Largo.

But there are a lot of people, and by a lot we mean pretty much everybody, who do not want to see Largo succeed in this thing he didn’t want anyway. Thus Largo must survive getting shot at, thrown off buildings, shot at some more, stabbed at, betrayed, hoodwinked, shot at some more and betrayed one more time again before he can become the man that his adoptive father had always hoped he would be. Or something along those lines.

When one adds everything up with this movie ‘Largo Winch’ it is far from perfect but it is still a fast moving, action filled, thrilling ride of an adventure flick that I think most people who enjoy these kinds of movies, at least those who aren’t intimately tied to the history of the Largo Winch narrative, should a good time with. Initially Tomer Sisley seems like an odd choice for an action hero star considering the man is rather thin, lanky and awkward looking but he has this sly wink in his eye which gives his character the sense that he knows far more about what’s going on in his world than we do, and he does have an undeniable charm floating about him. It also helps that he has this masterful command of language which adds to the substance of the character of Largo Winch. I do have one of these random disconnected questions that I often have to ask. Actress Melanie Thierry was in this movie as the fatal female and one of the characteristics of her character is that she has a mole on her butt cheek. Does Melanie Thierry really have a mole on her butt cheek or did somebody have to apply it? And if so, how does one get that gig? Just a question I have to ask.

In addition to being an action / adventure I believe this movie was also primed to be one of mystery and intrigue and this is where ‘Largo Winch’ falls short. It’s kind of a big deal that there is some character in the mix that is up to no good in this movie and its not long into the movie that even a disconnected observer will be able to figure out who this character is supposed to be since the director wasn’t able to hide his hand. Not even a little bit. If it wasn’t made so clear to us that this was really supposed to be a mystery it wouldn’t have been so disappointing that it was exposed so soon, but alas… here we are.

Regardless, ‘Largo Winch’ was tight. It was slick, high flying, had action and adventure for days and even had a little skin thrown in for good measure. Apparently the filmmakers are hard at work on a sequel to this action adventure and personally I will be one of those patiently awaiting its imminent release.

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