There seems to be a kind of curse affecting French directors every time when they try to make a SF movie. Most of them fail because of low budgets, but here it was clearly not the case - with 8 millions Euros director Marc Caro had quite a comfortable war treasure, at least by Old Continent standards.
This film suffers from another frequent weakness in French SF films - a very weak scenario. As one of previous reviewers noticed, for this film Marc Caro clearly looked for inspiration in other films: "Alien3" and "Green Mile", and I think also a little bit in "One flew over the cuckoo's nest". But mostly he failed to mix his cocktail right and the result is very disappointing.
The initial idea of a secret penal space station orbiting a vulcanic planet in a remote star system, allowing the mysterious "Company" to conduct experiences on dangerous criminals and psychopaths seemed promising. The names of all persons present on board were also well chosen: the chief of station is Charon, the female doctor is Persephone and the inmates are called Cesar, Lazarus, Moloch, Buddha, Attila and Raspoutine (there are also two security guards, BR and CR, but they are less important to the plot). Then all the delicate balance of this "little hell" (which by the way appears in space as a cross...) is bouleversed by the arrival of two newcomers: a new doctor, Elisa and a new inmate, "Unknown", but soon called "Saint George", because of a tattoo on his shoulder. Oh, by the way, everybody in the film is bald...
That covers the first five minutes. It could be a really good film with such a starting point - but sadly it isn't. It is very slow. People act absurdly. There is a lot of weird visions which will not be explained. People vomit a lot. Dialogs are very poor, with great wisdom moments like "Do not give me that sh-t about God" and "Oh, me you know, human kind - what do I care" being maybe the most interesting things people say. Elisa shows her boobies. A fat guy eats a lot - and he is a very messy eater. Oh no, one of the psychopaths is a real psychopath - who would have thought that? The main "hero" says ONE word! And then, there is the "Deux Ex Machina" ending, which is so ridiculous that I laughed out loud.
I spend a rather bad moment watching this film. The only reason I give "Dante 01" two stars is the visual aspect - it was done nicely and the gallery of (mostly butt ugly) faces is also a very interesting thing. I would advise against watching this film, except if you are a fan of French cinema or very much into cinematographic curiosities.