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DVD Review

DVD cover

Dante 01


Starring: Lambert Wilson and Dominique Pinon
Momentum Pictures
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 15 September 2008

The sole survivor of an alien encounter, Saint Georges, is charged with the murder of his entire crew and sentenced to a life of medical trials onboard Dante 01 - one of the first psychiatric space prisons. Upon meeting Saint Georges, fellow inmates soon discover all is not normal with the new prisoner as he begins to display mysterious powers stemming from his alien experience...

Dante 01 is sci-fi movie from French director Marc Caro (Delicatessen). While, at its core, this movie is promising, sadly it never fully delivers the goods.

There are several issues that led me to think that this film had a few production issues. The Making of featurette on the disc explains that Caro had each of the inmates embody one of the seven deadly sins... however that doesn't really come across very clearly in the movie. Nor does the apparent link they all have with different colours.

There are also some obvious references to Dante Alighieri's Divina Commedia, but I couldn't help noticing that the "circles" in the movie stopped short of the nine circles of Hell in Alighieri's original. It was almost as though someone re-cut the movie who didn't have a clue what they were doing and thought: "What's all this circle nonsense? That can go. We don't need that."

Visually the movie looks fantastic. The usual claustrophobic, pretty colourless vision of a futuristic space ship, that we've seen a million times before, does have a fresh feel to it. However, I couldn't help be reminded of George Lucas's THX 1138 on more than a few occasions.

Extras include a Making of featurette (30 min, 55 secs) and a trailer that pretty much gives the ending away.

Sadly, this could have - and should have - been a much better film.


Nick Smithson

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