(I) (2017)

Critic Reviews



Based on 29 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Noer isn’t interested in the pulpy, wannabe mythic journey of Papillon when there’s a meatier through-line highlighting our humanity in dire straits. Rather than make his film about how far our bodies can go, he seeks to portray the lengths are hearts will.
On its own terms, Noer’s adventure is ultimately a dramatic and dynamic-enough telling of an indelible fact-based story to connect with viewers.
Village Voice
This new version, directed by Danish filmmaker Michael Noer, brings to the story a refreshing intensity and sweep, and even a sense of adventure.
Hunnam and Malek both hold up their end of the deal. Noer, for his part, meets them halfway by conjuring golden-hued beauty for the jungle surroundings and a due griminess for the danker chambers of their holding compound. He doesn’t overcomplicate things for himself, keeping the clunky dialogue to a minimum and focusing on the guiding light of Papi’s indomitable willpower.
The remake of Papillon doesn’t lack for potential metaphorical riches, yet this brutal, bruising film never quite connects with its deeper themes, resulting in a story full of suffering but not enough transcendence.
This remake proffers the sort of cinematic nowhere place that's all too common of an increasingly corporate, globalized cinema.
As for the new Papillon, it wisely doubles down on high adventure, but it’s still as lifeless as its predecessor. Just in different ways.
There’s no real voice in the storytelling, nothing distinctive about the imagery, if it’s not a doubling up on the violence and gore, and the result doesn’t remotely resonate in the same way.
The only real crime here is the debasement of a great film’s name.
With no unique viewpoint on the story of its own, it’s perplexing why Papillon went in front of cameras at all.

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