36 (Quai des Orfèvres)


Genre: Crime/Action/Thriller
Gerard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, Andre Dussolier, Valeria Golino
Olivier Marchal
Rating: NC-16 (Some Intimate Scenes)
Year Made: 2004

Languages: French
Subtitles: English
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen
Sound: French Dolby Digital 5.0
Running Time: 1 hr 50 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Home Entertainment






PARIS. For several months an incredibly violent gang has been successfully holding up armoured bank vans. The chief of Police, Robert Mancini (Andre Dussolier) has been quite frank with the two lieutenants under his command, Leo Wrinks (Daniel Auteuil) and Denis Klein (Gerard Depardieu) : whoever manages to bust this gang will replace him as the "Chief" at the Police HG, located 36 Quai des Orfevres. The fight is on between these two super cops, who once were friends, and now are at odds about everything: their private lives, their methods, their staff and a woman, Camille Wrinks (Valeria Golino).


It is always a difficult task to commingle drama and action perfectly in movie, which talk about good cop versus crooks cop. 36, however, is one that would be endeared by both art-house’s audience and action greedy fans alike

Opens with a series of seemingly unrelated events from a weeping prisoner, a violent rape to a jovial retirement party, the movie instantly captivates audience to watch further. Though the story of two elite cops wrestle for the top post is not anymore refreshing, 36 stand out with its unhurried narration of the main characters amidst the tense atmosphere. Most movie of the same theme would usually be overwhelmed by mindless actions. Here, the filmmaker artfully dashes an appropriate amount of drama without even compromising the pace of the story. Such mastery definitely deserves the 8 Cesar Awards Nominations, including Best Picture, under its belt.

The action scenes, though only a pathetic few, had left permanent impression. It is amazing to see the movement of the protagonist in every raid or ambush, done with such micro precision. The blasting sound of the gunfights was so convincingly real! With camera crew who seem undaunted by the cross fire, these battle shots were clearly visible, putting those “camera shaking” technique employed in Hollywood nowadays to shame.

Of course the drama and adrenaline could not have been exemplary without the casts, especially the two legendary French star, Daniel Auteuit and Gerard Depardieu. The performance of both actors is undeniable even if their names sound alien to you. Bearing a mark resemblance to Robert De Niro, Daniel Auteuit effortlessly convinced with his role as a respectable cop with an ambiguous personality. Gerard Depardieu on the other hand still managed to gain much empathy with his villain role, in spite of
having shorter screen time. As for the rest, they simply blend flawlessly. Even the women, who are usually underutilised in such movie, have shown much worth in changing the course of the plot.

It doesn’t require high intelligent to predict what’s installed. However, the movie excel in striking a contrast between the two main leads - their ways of life, their methods of handling criminals and their struggle for power, making one realise that right and wrong is merely an individual opinion. In this World where extreme crime needs extreme measures, how could a cop brings honour to himself without going beyond the rules of

Now the conclusion may be a slight let down to some - Do not expect any typical Hollywood showdown (bear in mind that this is a French product) or an happily ever-after ending. Nevertheless, the exciting sequences presented along the way are good enough to make this movie a worthy catch.

Finally, those disconnected opening scenes were not unnecessary. Prepare to be surprise!


The disc does not contain any bonus feature. What a pity!


It is highly recommended to turn on the Dolby Digital 5.1 as the movie’s battle scenes are just too good to be compromise by mid-range audio. I personally replay these scenes many times and was repeatedly satisfied by the deafening blasts! Even if you are not one who enjoy the sound of violence, you were also be impressed by the “Matrix” inspired tempo throughout the movie. Thumbs up!


Scenes selections were a breeze. However, it took longer than usual for the selected scene to be played. There were no jumps or halt spotted during playback. In spite of the cool hues employed in the movie, you would not feel strained when watching the dark scenes.

(This one is sure on the book of the most memorable cop’s movies)


Review by Leosen Teo

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