MOVIE: * (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Daniel Craig as BARTHELEMY KARAS
Romola Garai as ILONA TASUIEV
Ian Holm as JONUS MULLER
Kevork Malikyan as NUSRAT FARFELLA
Catherine McCormack as BISLANE TASUIEV
Jonathan Pryce as PAUL DELLENBACH
Created by: Christian Volckman
BY KEVIN CARR
Last year during awards season, I heard a little bit of buzz for “Renaissance” as a potential nominee for best animated feature. After seeing the trailer, animated in a stark black-and-white style, I was very excited to see it. However, after it went nowhere in the awards and nowhere at the box office, and when I saw the film compared to “Blade Runner” and “Sin City,” I should have figured it out.
“Renaissance” is a imported French animated action piece. It’s a cyberpunk story set in Paris in 2054, where a passionate detective gets wind of a missing person’s case. He breaks the rules and digs into his underworld connections to try to solve it. However, he soon learns that the kidnapping goes farther than one person and may hold the answer to the secrets of life and death.
Like most cyberpunk, this film has a stellar premise. However, also in the tradition of cyberpunk, its storytelling and presentation is as murky as its production design. I loved the scope of this film, and the animation with no shades of gray was brilliant. But the story just dragged along, and there was no excitement or energy behind it. Perhaps this was lost in the French/English translation, or maybe it was a result of the French perspective. In any respect, “Renaissance” falls woefully short of interesting my American mind.
The DVD comes with a making-of featurette, which is interesting enough if you can handle subtitles throughout its 20+ minute running time.