April 22, 2024

MONSIEUR SPADE (2024) – Confusing and unwatchable mess

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Rating: ⭐

The idea of having a TV series with Clive Owen playing the fictional private detective Sam Spade, set in France sounds like something to look forward to. Unfortunately, this was not the case with Monsieur Spade. On the plus side, the series looks great thanks to the French landscape that provides a picturesque backdrop. But looks alone could not deter the fact that this movie was a difficult watch.

A good portion of the series has its dialouge in French so unless you are fluent in that language chances are you will be doing a lot of subtitles reading. The problem was there was so much French dialouge delivered at breakneck speed that the time allocated to display the subtitles was often not enough as there are many occasions where I find myself unable to finish reading in time before they disappeared. While most of the performers including Clive Owen himself were competent, they were not given a chance to shine no thanks to poorly developed characters. There were too many characters which comes and go which only makes the story more confusing as it progresses. I kept waiting for the story to become clearer but no such luck. The pacing is slow, there is not enough witty humour to keep us entertained, and a lot of time wasted making the story go in circles. The film makers tries to give the series a noir look and feel but this merely made the images pretty to look at, and did not saved the series from being confusing to follow.

The series’ worst hindrance to being watchable is its ridiculous plot involving the protection for a mysterious kid who is said to possess great powers. This substandard narration cumulated in the final episode which was the series’ worst. The final episode wrapped things up in the final 10 minutes by introducing a brand new character who literally appears out of the blues, to explain everything to everybody Hercule Poirot style. It is preposterous to have all the characters so willing to sit down and listen to someone they have just met! That must have been one of the worst endings ever to a series I have come across.

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