The last time we spent some quality time with erstwhile billionaire Largo Winch (Tomer Sisley), he had just survived getting double crossed, shot at, stabbed, betrayed, and run down with numerous types of high speed vehicles while engaging in numerous fist fights. Would you believe, after watching Largo’s latest adventure ‘The Burma Conspiracy’ that the previous adventure was the easy part? By far?
You would think, now that Largo is fully entrenched as the CEO of the Mega Huge Winch Group, that things would calm down a bit, but when we first see Largo he is in his Audi, along with his main advisor Dwight (Ulrich Tukur) and a pretty reporter, trying like hell to get out of Russia with four pissed off fully armed Mercedes SUV’s on his tail. Largo, who can be a bit impetuous, apparently insulted his host, the fat bastard Dmitri Nazarov (Virgil Nazarov), and now the fat bastard wants Largo dead. Get used to people wanting to see Largo dead. Five minutes in and Largo is in a car chase, is getting shot at, and there are explosions. It is nice to know that some things don’t change no matter how much money you have.
Largo survives this unfortunate event, but alas it is going to get worse. And convoluted. Largo has decided to sell off the Winch Group assets and give all of the profits to charity. That’s crazy, but that’s what he plans to do. This upsets an awful lot of people and as if Largo could have more enemies, he has more enemies. Next thing you know Largo is being investigated for Crimes against Humanity by the hard working, honest and completely slutty international prosecutor Diane Francken (Sharon Stone). Crimes against Humanity? Largo?
You see, before Largo came back to Hong Kong he spent some quality time in Burma. He met a pretty girl named Malunai (Tapakpapha Nakprasitte), they fell in love and life was good. Unfortunately there was a war going on and Malunai chose her village over Largo and sent him on his way. Soon afterwards the super brutal and evil general Kyaw Min (Nirut Sirichanya) would show up and mow this village down. What does that have
to do with anything? The prosecutor thinks Largo, alongside his old man Nerio (Miki Manojlovic), was working with the general and had these people slaughtered for the rich resources that they sat on. Operation Pandora they would call it. We know full well that Largo wouldn’t do anything like this, but these prosecutors do have some pretty damning evidence against Largo, not to mention the ‘surprise witness’ who will be a surprise to basically no one who watches this movie.
Now our billionaire has a LOT on his plate. He has to clear his name which will require him to go to war torn Burma, he has to track down this guy Simon (Olivier Barthelemy), the one guy who can clear his name, he has a damsel to rescue from an evil general… not to mention the little surprise she has for him… there’s a team of brutal mercenaries who want him killed in the worst way, there’s a fat bastard trying to buy his company out from under him, I’m thinking he might get tossed out of an airplane somewhere down the line and I bet he’s going to be betrayed. Again. Just another week in the life of Largo Winch.
Because of the high entertainment value offered with the first Largo Winch, and it was called ‘Largo Winch’ when I saw it, not ‘Heir Apparent’, I will freely admit I was really looking forward to see what director Jerome Salle had in store for Largo’s next adventure and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. ‘The Burma Conspiracy’ is very similar to the first movie in its strengths and in its flaws. Strengths which include Tomer Sisley as Largo, an unorthodox action hero if ever there was one. Sisley’s interpretation of Largo gives us a character who is always under control, always seems to have the upper hand in any situation, no matter how bad this situation may look to the audience, and as we mentioned about the first movie, we love his command of languages. This time around there are some cracks introduced to the confidence of Largo Winch, but they are short lived. Can’t have Largo Winch wallowing in self doubt for too long.
Strengths which also include director Salle’s ability to direct an action sequence. More explosions, more car chases, more fist fights, and an aerial rescue sequence which is among one of the best you’ll ever see. The pacing in this one is a little erratic as the movie gets bogged down in the middle with the overly convoluted plot, but it is at heart an action movie, and a very good one at that.
As far as the weaknesses go, as we have already mentioned there is this overly complex, multi-layered plot, one that probably lends itself better to a legitimate spy thriller as opposed to an action film. Multi-layered plots are fine and all, but sacrifices had to be made for the sake of the action so we weren’t stuck watching a three hour movie, and these sacrifices came at the price of keeping this narrative completely coherent. And similar to the last movie, there’s a big mystery about who our master betrayer might be, and just like the last movie… it’s no real mystery. Of course knowing ‘who’ is one thing, but the ‘why’ behind the ‘who’ was cleverly concealed until it needed to be revealed.
We enjoy the ‘Largo Winch’ series of movies, a lot. Here’s hoping that ‘The Burma Conspiracy’ is just the second chapter in a series that has a few chapters left to tell.