Monday, October 19, 2015

Fantomas Against Scotland Yard

Fantomas contre Scotland Yard; crime comedy, France / Italy, 1967; D: André Hunebelle, S: Jean Marais, Louis de Funès, Mylène Demongeot

Fantomas returns and this time shows up in Scotland, where he threatens to kill Lord McRashley and a dozen other millionaires if they do not pay him a large amount of cash. Commissioner Juve, reporter Fandor and his girlfriend Helene are all summoned to Scotland to stay in Lord McRashley's castle and protect him. However, Fantomas kills Lord McRashley and takes his place by disguising himself as the latter. He tricks Juve into giving him the large amount of diamonds and then escapes. The war planes bomb his rocket, but Fantomas actually escaped on a bicycle.

The third part of the "Fantomas" film trilogy is by far the weakest, severely lacking inspiration and charm to continue the franchise after part II proved to be surprisingly clever and inventive. Unfortunately, the good ideas wore thin after three films, and thus "Fantomas Against Scotland Yard" has too much empty walk and too little jokes. Louis de Funes is once again energetic and gives a strong comic performance, but alas, he cannot compensate for the scenes where he is not in, and in which little to nothing good happens. The fox hunt sequence, for instance, is bland and terribly conventional, resulting in several lame jokes, whereas the numerous conventional action and battle sequences start to become tiresome, especially since the (open) ending disappointingly concludes just like in previous two films - as there was never a 4th film, they left the film series incomplete, without a proper ending. The only good jokes are the "driving bed" on wheels, with Juve in it, and the comical moment where Juve "accidentally" loses a diamond in his sleeve, whereas at least the film location in the castle is moody.


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