Yan Lepentrec dit Le Dob (Vincent Cassel) is better known as Dobermann due to that vicious look in his eyes that he’s had ever since he was a baby. Now all grown up, Dobermann is a notorious bank robber who leads a gang who love the money as much as they do the chase and the violence. However, whilst preparing for their latest heist, Commissaire Sauveur Cristini (Tchéky Karyo) is hot on their tails and is willing to do anything to stop them.
Dobermann is a French action movie based on a graphic novel by Joël Houssin who also wrote the screenplay. Designed to excite for a big screen experience, Dobermann amps up the violence and the gunplay to give its audience plenty of excitement.
It’s just a shame that while there are cool shots of Dobermann and his girlfriend, Nathalie (Monica Bellucci), the movie forgets to tell a compelling story in place of action, gratuitous violence and increasingly characters with increasingly grey areas.
Commissaire Cristini is certainly willing to do what it takes to take down Dobermann and his gang and there are certainly scenes that will make the audience feel uncomfortable. However, the problem is that there really aren’t any redeeming features of Dobermann either besides his gang of diverse friends.
Just because he has a deaf girlfriend and one of the gang members is gay, doesn’t really excuse his ethics when it comes to killing and stealing, but the movie seems to think it does.
This unfortunately makes Dobermann a case of style over substance, where the filmmakers seem to think that as long as they keep the audience engaged during the action scenes, then everything else doesn’t matter. This is particularly evident as when there isn’t any shooting or fighting, the movie’s pace slows right down. Not to mention that besides Dobermann’s affinity with guns, the audience doesn’t know enough about him to make an informed judgement on his character.
Dobermann wants to be the coolest thing you’ve ever seen and when it first released in 1997 it may have attracted audiences. However, besides the fast-paced shootouts with pumping music, there’s little else that stays in the memory.
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