(Gerard Depardieu, et al / DVD / R / (2004) 2011 / Tartan Video)
Overview: In this action packed cop thriller, a gang of armed robbers have committed seven deadly robberies within a year. When two lieutenants are told that whoever stops the gang will become the next Chief Of Police, the competition between them becomes increasingly ruthless, blurring the lines of morality, until there is no difference between the police and the criminals they chase.
DVD Verdict: The '36th Precinct' (otherwise known as, uon its original release in 2004 as '36 Quai des Orfèvres,' 'Department 36,' or just plain '36') combines two of France’s acting heavyweights in Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil.
Here they play police officers competing to be the next Police Chief of Paris. And the key to the door is whoever can bring down the biggest gang in the city gets the office. Leo (Auteuil) is the one wanted for the promotion, but Klein (Depardieu) wants the power that comes with it.
'36th Precinct' is a dark, gritty film, highlighting (if you will) the darker side of Paris that most people are used to seeing. Criminals are very violent and do not fear the police, while the police themselves are morally questionable.
Daniel Auteuil plays Leo Vrinks, who leads his own so-called Strike Team. They brutalize criminals and do not follow police procedure, yet Vrinks does have a good heart and believes he is in the right. Depardieu who plays Denis Klein on the otherhand, is an opportunistic and cold hearted scoundrel who will do anything to get ahead no matter how horrible it is.
And so it is not long before the two engage in a competition of sorts to try and win the office. As the two investigate the armed gang individually, they wind up on opposite sides as both of their agendas drive them in separate ways. No one gets out well with the happy ending, like any good crime film, either. And while this is not an action film, there is still good action to be found - most that show the brutality of the bank robbers and how efficient the police are! In conclusion, '36th Precinct' is a very good movie that combines police procedural, thriller, and morality tale into one. This is a Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.