The Burma Conspiracy (aka Largo Winch II)
U/A; Action, Adventure
Dir: Jerome Salle
Cast: Tomer Sisley, Sharon Stone, Mame Nakprasitte, Nirut Sirichanya
Rating: * * (out of 5)
Based on a Belgian comic book series by Phillipe Francq and Jean Van Hamme, Largo Winch (Sisley), in this sequel to The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (2008), is a globetrotting adventurer who also happens to be heir to a massive industrial empire.
Winch is the smoothie you'd end up with after putting the likes of James Bond, Bruce Wayne and pulp fiction detective Nick Carter in a cinematic blender. In this generic action thriller, Winch is accused of being an accomplice to crimes against humanity in Burma, where he lived in a village for 15 months with his lover Malunai (Nakprasitte).
The woman making the accusation is federal prosecutor Diane Francken (Stone), a middle-aged woman with a voracious sexual appetite.
She corners him even as he sells his entire inherited empire and donates the proceedings to charity. As Winch travels to Burma to unravel the mystery, the movie then proceeds from one action set-piece to another - all very well done, of course, but noisy and pointless.
The Bollywood-like elements are aplenty - from unresolved father-son relationships to betrayal and even a "yes, this is your kid" moment. Salle's direction is at its best while handling the action (although a mid-air fight while skydiving might just be the most ridiculous fight sequence we've seen all year), but clumsy while handling the more sentimental bits.
The twists are fairly predictable and the "big reveal" at the end is handled with the finesse usually found in a Scooby Doo cartoon.
The production standards are high - there is some gorgeous photography from Denis Rouden and an effective score from Alexandre Desplat - but The Burma Conspiracy offers no surprises. Avoid this one.
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