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The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch


Does Winch have much of a pull?

Rod Lott March 19th, 2012

Jumping back and forth between Brazil and Hong Kong, The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch serves as an origin story of its title hero (German-born Tomer Sisley, The Nativity Story), secret adopted heir to self-made gazillionaire Neiro Winch (Miki Manojlovic, Europe's equivalent to our Philip Baker Hall) and the world's fifth-largest fortune.

theheirapparentlargowinch

Neiro is killed on his yacht in the film's opening moments, so Winch International is temporarily without a CEO. Ann Ferguson (Kristin Scott Thomas, Sarah's Key) fills the shoes until Largo can be located and filled in on the deets. Assuming the mantle is his destiny, no matter how little he wants it.

Naturally, with such a big chunk of bank involved, there are many who don't want Largo to get it, and will go to any length to see him killed. While subplots of a takeover bid, insider trading and corporate espionage (redundant?) grant The Heir Apparent an air of uniqueness among what is essentially a spy story, the action is what audiences want to see.

On that front, director Jérôme Salle valiantly tries to deliver. With his life on the line, Largo runs constantly from enemies both known and unknown, participating in chases on a motorcycle, in a car with no brakes, and on foot through a crowd of shoppers. The highlight, however, is the climactic fistfight atop a skyscraper. Too bad some of these sequences' punch is diluted by too-quick editing and too-joyous Brazilian Carnival music.

The story's dueling flavors of high finance and high adventure don't entirely gel, but the flick is slick enough to make me look forward to the sequel, The Burma Conspiracy, which co-stars Sharon Stone. Yes, that Sharon Stone. Hopefully, she'll generate more heat alone than Sisley and Mélanie Thierry (The Princess of Montpensier) do here, no matter how sweaty their sex visibly appears. —Rod Lott

 
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