The Serpent review

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On the coat-tails of Tell No One comes another slickly directed, strongly acted Parisian thriller about a middle-aged man framed for murder. Based on a yarn by Get Carter source novelist Ted Lewis, it follows Vincent (Yvan Attal), a photographer who’s on the verge of divorcing his wealthy German wife (Minna Haapkylä). He’s also the latest blackmail target of psychopath Plender (Clovis Cornillac), a former classmate bent on revenging a childhood upset. Writer/director Eric Barbier has only made three films in the last 15 years, but he sure knows his genre chestnuts: hence the wildly improbable escape from police custody, the mother-obsessed, ex-Foreign Legion baddie, the inevitable hand-to-hand showdown between adversaries. A mite overblown, but no less enjoyable for it – and guaranteed to get a Hollywood re-jig.

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