Under the Seine makes a big splash [critique]

The Parisian shark film by Xavier Gens on Netflix is ​​an improbable Z series, from which we remember the very successful SFX.

What does this Netflix film which is released today on the platform teach us (from its title)? That it is, in short, the importation of an American B series concept into a Franco-French landscape (even worse: Parisian), and that the result of this mixture could be curious to see. And we will quickly defuse the suspense: no, Under the Seine is not what you would call a good film. We loved Cold Skin by Xavier Gens, pleasant behind-closed-doors B series where Ray Stevenson protected a lighthouse from a fish-man attack, or his previous action film, Farang. There, there is not much to save – except the fake sharks, the fruit of the remarkable work of the French SFX studio Atelier 69. Under the Seine could have, should have been a good film of know-how, a work of craftsmanship, provoking, who knows? joy in the face of the massacre caused by the sharks, even a certain anguish in the face of its hallucinatory statement: but the film is too false to provoke anything. With the exception of its finale, nicely delirious, which takes the film into a totally artificial universe, but whose artificiality outlines a small cinematic ambition.


But deep down, Under the Seine cultivates a resolutely false relationship with reality, which would not be so serious if it were not funny oriented. The young green activists are described as abominably candy-breaking Greta Thunbergs (and largely responsible for the massacre caused by the sharks, of course), who are opposed by the friendly police forces, admirable guardians of the peace distributing snacks for peaceful, cultured homeless people. Of course, the evil comes from above, from the mayor of Paris, the aptly named Valérie Tiburaud (“tiburón” meaning shark in Spanish, a sign that the character merges Pécresse and Hidalgo), a hysterical demagogue ready to do anything not to call into question a swimming event in the Seine… We navigate between Sharknado -for cinema viewing- and Notre-Dame, the part of the fire, for writing. But if, remember, the incredible Netflix series which took the fire of the cathedral as support for a castagneous plot Taken. Under the Seine has the merit of being shorter.

Under the Seineby Xavier Gens, is released this Wednesday, June 5 on Netflix.


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