Saturday, August 12, 2006

"LE JAGUAR"

Jean Reno, Patrick Bruel, Danny Trejo, Patricia Velasquez, Harrison Lowe

TV 5

the jaguar

The title of the film refers to Wanu, a shaman of an Amazon tribe. He is believed to have the special powers of the menacing feline. Wanu travels to Paris, France to raise awareness to the plight of the Amazon rain forests which are under threat. He is accompanied by a French anthropologist who has studied the tribe and wants to raise funds from the French government to help preserve the jungles of the Amazon as well as the tribe itself. Wanu is suddenly mesmerized by a French louse who amounts to nothing good in his sorry life, a guy who just happens to be in the same elevator at the hotel where Wanu is billeted. Wanu believes that Francois is the chosen one. The person who can find Wanu's soul which was 'taken' by one of the thugs that harass the tribe for his own vested interests. The adventure begins once Francois with the help of Jean Campana (the anthropologist) go back to the Amazon rain forest to accomplish his 'mission'.

It stars Jean Reno as the straight faced anthropologist and Patrick Bruel as Francois. Patricia Velasquez who portrayed Anck Su Namun in "The Mummy Returns" is also in this film. She does nothing much really but speak in Spanish/Portuguese to help them in their mission. It starts in Paris then it splices to the small village near the Amazon river then cuts to the actual tribal town in the Amazon rain forest.

It is one of those silly and zany films which qualify as mindless entertainment. I was laughing out loud, most of the time. The comedic parts come mostly from baby faced Patrick Bruel (a famous French singer) who is such a hoot to watch as he is totally transported out of his comfort zone into the wild jungles of the Amazon. He is in perfect contrast to the poker faced Jean Reno who does his best to keep Francois from getting into trouble with the local thugs. It is interesting to note that no matter what language was spoken, Jean Reno understood all of them and could act as a multilingual interpreter. Certainly, this is a far cry from the usual serious detective roles of Jean Reno. I was suprised though to see Patrick Bruel in a comic role. He sings mostly about love and heartaches in his ballads. But in this film, he was really hilarious! One glaring thing though is the way the film tend to mock the rituals of the tribe. A bit condescending, if you ask me.

But "Le Jaguar" is a wacky comedy, good for rip roaring laughs.
It should definitely not be taken seriously, at all.

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