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The Burma Conspiracy Review


Following the rule of three...

The Burma Conspiracy Review

Jean Van Hamme and Philippe Francq's graphic novels return to the big screen with the follow on from Largo Winch – Deadly Revenge. The Director of the first installment and The Tourist reunites with the original writer to bring us The Burma Conspiracy.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Belgium comic books, there's a helpful recap of the discovery of Largo's existence three years earlier. A TV news bulletin tells us Largo promises to be the most powerful man on the planet if he steps up to the job as CEO of the W Group to successfully run his inherited business empire. Now that his powerful billionaire father, Nerio, is deceased and Largo's identity as his adopted son has been legitimatised, Largo must protect the honour of his family name and his business interests when accused of being involved in a Burmese massacre 20 miles from the Thai border that his father supposedly orchestrated to secure valuable mining land. To defend his honour, Largo must uncover the secrets surrounding the mysterious Pandora account.

We re-meet Largo (Tomer Sisley) in a characteristically fast-paced car chase before a confusing start flits back and forth through time, setting up Largo's predicament and introducing us to his father's “only friend” Alexandre Jung (Laurent Terzieff) and his ex-lover, Malunaï (Napakpapha Nakprasitte)... who is inexplicably acting as a witness against Largo for the international prosecutor (an ever-ageless Sharon Stone) building the case against him.

Like all good action flicks, The Burma Conspiracy is full of big explosions, trackers, tough talk (“A man with no enemies is no man at all”) and of course has a high body count. Largo's a skillful guy who can even fly a plane, despite never finishing lessons but  would rather live the quiet life, away from money and power, preferring to sell the W Group in order to set up a humanitarian foundation. His seemingly inexhaustible talents are particularly well-illustrated with a sky diving/parachute Bond-like fight homage and viscous bathroom sequence.

All the bloodshed is off-set by light comic relief in the form of a strange family bonding segment and the return of Guthier (Nicolas Vaude), Largo's hugely likable butler. Scenes of Guthier trailing around Thailand on Largo's direction in a variety of modes of transport, and on-running gags centering around his tendency to leave overly-long phone messages, nicely slow the pace.

As Largo's company is global, the film is multi-lingual and is also internationally based, switching from a variety of locations including, Lake Geneva, Makiling Military Camp in Thailand and Hong Kong. Unfortunately far too much time is spent putting the film in the context of its back-story but double-crossings and twists pleasingly still have the element of surprise. In tackling the crimes against humanity versus money theme, The Burma Conspiracy ends perfectly setting us up for a sequel as a new legacy begins. With Largo everything seems to come in threes (three years later, three years earlier....) so fans of the story so far can reasonably expect a third part.

3 stars

Director: Jerome Salle
Writer: Julien Rappeneau, Jerome Salle
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: January 23 2011
Label: Studio Canal
Running Time: 119 mins
Certificate: 12A

Starring: Tomer Sisley, Sharon Stone, Laurent Terzieff, Napakpapha Nakprasitte, Clemens Schick


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