Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Partners in Crime Murder most fouled up
Year: 2012
Director: Pascal Thomas
Stars: André Dussollier, Catherine Frot, Linh Dan Pham, Nicolas Marié, Agathe de La Boulaye, Eric Naggar, Bernard Verley, Hervé Pierre, Sarah Biasini, François Bettens, Julos Beaucarne, Caroline Pigozzi
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Science Fiction, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Married celebrity sleuths Belisaire (André Dussollier) and Prudence Beresford (Catherine Frot) are taking a break from solving crimes while Belisaire does a press tour promoting his latest book. Already annoyed her husband left her out of his memoirs, Prudence is further infuriated when a party guest mistakes her for a maid. Bored with the tedium of growing old the Beresfords re-open their detective agency. Their first case involves a young man searching for his girlfriend, a wealthy and glamorous Russian heiress who vanished under mysterious circumstances. Prudence and Belisaire follow a trail that leads to the Phoenix Clinic, a so-called rejuvenation centre for ageing rich folks. Something sinister is afoot as it seems someone is willing to kill to keep the secret of eternal youth.

Following the success of Mon petit doigt m'a dit... (2005) writer-director Pascal Thomas adapted a series of comic murder mysteries based on stories by Agatha Christie with Catherine Frot and André Dussollier portraying French reinterpretations of Christie's Tuppence and Tommy Beresford. In the interest of fair disclosure one must admit to having not seen the previous two films, including Le Crime est notre affaire (2008), which have been compared favourably with The Thin Man (1934) and proven especially popular in France. Yet the fact remains, Associés contre le crime (Partners in Crime), very very loosely adapted from the short story 'The Case of the Missing Lady', is easily the strangest Agatha Christie movie ever made. Surreal cartoon-like comedy and a plot twist that is outright science fiction put this in an oddball category of its own.

Which is fine, in some respects. Some of the comedy is genuinely funny, as when Prudence calls on Belisaire to give her a vigorous spanking to kick-start her photographic memory. Yet other aspects prove oddly off-putting. Chiefly that while the film thinks it is commenting on the hardship of growing old it more often comes across as a misanthropic whinge on what a drag young people and children can be for carefree, elderly and crucially rich people. The murder mystery portion of the film does not kick in till about the halfway mark. Before that Thomas dwells on a sub-plot that has Prudence aghast that her daughter has abandoned her husband and two sons, though not in the way one might expect. We never learn why Marie-Christine (Sarah Biasini) ran away nor does Prudence give any indication that she cares. She repeatedly reacts to her daughter and grandkids with indifference or passive-aggressive hostility, which is either a cultural thing or just plain bizarre characterization. Some may think it brave or even admirable that a movie would celebrate a mature heroine so unabashedly headstrong, unsentimental and self-involved, yet for all Catherine Frot's charm and skill as a performer Prudence still comes across a trifle cold, flightly and selfish. She does not even seem particularly moved by the murders of several innocent victims throughout the story.

Once Prudence and Belisaire start investigating the Phoenix Clinic the film grows rather more engaging although their inept attempt at working undercover calls to question their effectiveness as detectives. Lin Dan Pham, onetime star of Indochine, (1993) is very good as the terrified doctor who alerts them to all the strange goings on and there is a memorably surreal moment when Belisaire discovers one evil henchman is some sort of inflatable robot. It is a funny gag but again a plot point that goes unexplained. Indeed the film is so casual about its own mystery that the villains are dealt with off-screen before the last twenty minutes veer off into an extended gag that is mind-bogglingly absurd with a rather nasty punchline. God knows what Dame Agatha would have made of it, but it's novel to say the least.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2010 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: