Mystère au Louvre [Mystery at the Louvre] (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Mystère au Louvre</strong> [<strong class="MovieTitle">Mystery at the Louvre</strong>] (2017)

(In French, On TV, December 2018) Reviewing Mystère au Louvre is a fluke — it’s practically unknown outside the French-speaking world (only 38 votes on IMDB as of this writing!) for good reasons: It’s a made-for-TV movie for France 2, and fourth in the “Mystère à Paris” series of movies. I’m dumbfounded as to how it found its way to a Québec-side TV channel. It doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page in French. I’ve reviewed some obscure stuff here, but this has to be a strong contender for one of the least likely to be seen again. In some ways, you’re not missing out on much. The story, about a burglar targeting precious jewels exposed at Le Louvre and recruiting a high-wire artist for support, has bits and pieces taken from other better movies. The heist mechanics are strictly conventional, and the dialogue supporting the story isn’t particularly distinguished. The budget is obviously low (thanks Paris for providing historical settings for next to nothing!), the filming rushed and the cinematographic qualities a perceptible notch under the usual standard. Alice Taglioni isn’t bad as the burglar, but there’s little sense that she bring something unique to the role. In short, there isn’t anything startlingly new or interesting in Mystère au Louvre. But what it does have is the flipside of familiarity: comfort. There’s something almost seamless in slipping into this film, as unoriginal as it is. The sets are often gorgeous, the idea of a high-class burglar is perennial fun, Taglioni is attractive and even going through the motions of a heist is enough to keep things interesting. Plus there’s the advantage of knowing where it’s going, meaning that you are doing something else at the time there’s little possible confusion as to where the story is and where it’s going. I’m still not recommending Mystère au Louvre, but I’m saying that if ever, on a cold winter’s night, you suddenly find yourself confronted with it there’s no reason to run away.

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