REVIEW: Papillon remake entertains, but doesn’t live up

This remake to the well-regarded 1973 gem doesn’t live up to high expectations, but it’s a worthwhile endeavour for genre fans.

The original stars are Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, and here we substitute the highly capable Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek. The results are interesting, but never quite mesh.

The star performances — on their own — are pretty fantastic, but it’s clear Hunnam and Malek lack the chemistry needed.

This film, about a hustler and thief wrongfully convicted of murder, follows him as he and a quirky, rich inmate try to escape from a penal colony.

Perhaps the grit, and the really raw tale of how far one will go for their freedom, are the best parts here.

The cinematography and editing are incredible. Had this not been a remake to an Oscar-nominated film, it may have scored more goodwill. As is, it’s a good-not-great imitation.

But given the limited scope of decent films for adults, you certainly won’t have a bad time. And if you haven’t seen the original, all the better, because you go in with a clean slate.

I certainly liked the movie, but it was the victim of its own high ambitions. Perhaps a second watch — and there will be one from me — will make me kinder.

But right now, it’s a very good movie that could have been fantastic.

3.5/5 Stars

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