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The Serpent [2007] [DVD]

3.7 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Yvan Attal, Pierre Marzin, Clovis Cornillac, Pierre Richard, Simon Abkarian
  • Directors: Eric Barbier
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: In2film
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Sept. 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CD3PCE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,049 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Sinuous, twisty French thriller. Opportunistic thug Plender (Clovis Cornillac) has a near-failsafe way of making money - identify a rich married man, send in a beautiful woman, take photos and demand payment. But when Plender meets up with an old schoolmate, fashion photographer Vincent (Yvan Attal), the scale of his operation suddenly expands, as does the extent of the damage done. The two men have a history, and Plender feels his old friend owes him a considerable debt.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mart TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A dark and sinister psychological thriller is the best description of The Serpent. Despite being subtitled, this doesn't detract from the suspense for much of the tension is visual, thanks mainly to the convincingly sane but ever-increasingly insane Joseph Plender, old school acquaintance of leading role Vincent Mandel.

The plot follows that of many other films, with the underlying theme of blackmail intertwined with the complications of divorce, sex, revenge, child abuse and more.

Much has already be made of the comparisons with `Get Carter', written by the same author as The Serpent, and the merits of the (few) actors there are in this film, but for me it was a perfect late night thriller, sometimes predictable, but always enjoyable, and at times genuinely sinister and disturbing.

Don't analyse it too much, just enjoy it.
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this DVD this morning and thought I'd have a quick look and see if it was promising before looking again tonight. I have just finished watching it and I have to say that this is a lesson in how to make a thriller. The acting is tight and thoughtfully realised and the story, with so many absolutely grim aspects moves apace, never letting the viewer wallow in what has been revealed.

The settings are reminiscent of 36 Quai des orfervres and the exposure to the French judicial system is also similar, I read now that it is from the same writer as "get carter" - which is interesting as the unremitting story of revenge in there, but this is no simple French remake of the Caine classic.
I must recommend this title as there is every risk that, like 36 Quai des orfervres that it will be siezed by an American studio and remade, losing much of the subtelty that is so well done by the French.
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
French thriller Le Serpent is a long gestating adaptation of Get Carter author Ted Lewis' seedy 70s blackmail thriller Plender. A British adaptation was in development for years before this French version finally reached the screen in 2006, but it's good enough to wipe away some of the aftertaste of the Get Carter remake. It's not quite as seedy as the book and loses the flashbacks that drive much of the novel but it translates surprisingly well to the other side of the English Channel and the present day.

Yvan Attal is Vincent, a photographer going through a messy and very hostile custody battle with his rich wife, aggravated by their sharing the same house, who gets set up in what initially appears to be a honeytrap involving a model. When an ill-advised second meeting with her (not the only unlikely plot development dependent on the character's stupidity by any means) ends up very messily, he finds old school friend, private investigator and blackmailer Joseph Plender literally crashing back into his life, disposing of the evidence and worming his way into Vincent's wife's confidence and setting about destroying his life. But it's not money he's after. He doesn't even want what Vincent has - he just wants Vincent to have everything taken away from him...

There are a few bumps - for the sake of moving the plot along quickly it's absurdly easy to find out certain pieces of information about characters, while an early photo-session scene doesn't convince - but for the most part this is a satisfying late-night thriller, largely due to a very convincingly malignant Clovis Cornillac as Plender. While at times it's possible to recognise the schoolboy that Vincent barely tolerated in him, there's a focussed and highly efficient rage behind his blank face and hooded eyes.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If like me you can get past the lack of plausibility and can accept a fair bit of poetic license you may well find The Serpent to be an enjoyable thriller. To be fair this film genre would always struggle to get five stars from me and may well be suited to someone who prefers Hollywood action thrillers.

It isn’t a film that I will be visiting again since once one knows the plot there will be no more surprises, but I would say the acting is good as is the directing as well as the sound and cinematography.

The DVD comes with some extra features: Making Of The Serpent; Interview With Director Eric Barbier; Interview With Producer Eric Jehelmann; Interview With Olga Kurylenko; Theatrical Trailer.

I would recommend this film to anyone who can pick up a cheap copy.

(Three-and-a-half stars)
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Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Serpent, is a French thriller that's ripe with revenge, action, and violence. It follows the seemly picture perfect life of Vincent Mandel, a photographer with a beautiful wife and two children. However we soon find that his life is anything but ideal. Poor Vincent is being framed for rape and murder, and things are just getting started.

Thankfully, The Serpent is simply subtitled and not dubbed (if there one thing I hate about foreign films, its poorly dubbed productions with no concept of audio/visual sync.) The plot has actually been done really well, and has obviously carefully been thought-out. There are a few nail biting moments throughout especially as the pace intensifies further in the film. This is the sort of film that's guaranteed to get your attention and keep you entertained. The atmosphere and tone created are nothing less than perfect, giving you a real impression of danger and the hate portrayed from one of the characters.

There are also some good special features included that add to the entertainment factor. The Serpent offers everything you could possibly want from a film of this genre.

Unfortunately there are a few problems with The Serpent that robbed it off a five star award, several elements of the plot seem rather unlikely and unbelievable. The beginning of the film is quite slow, which will put some people off, and personally I feel that the acting from Yyvan Attal (who plays the main character Vincent) leaves a lot to be desired. And with most thrillers, the ending (however good) is rather predicable.

But despite a few small failings, The Serpent is still a note worthy film, compelling enough for me to recommend it to you as I doubt it will disappoint.
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