Mobius Blu-Ray Review
I think we all know that the possible real cases of espionage these days heavily focus on the financial criminals running amok. MOBIUS takes the idea of white collar crime and gives us all the typical clichés featured in your run-of-the-mill spy story We got surveillance, infiltration, shady deals and the even shadier superiors. While those are definitely appealing notions and ones we would expect to see, MOBIUS lacks the necessities to catapult it forward and give us an intriguing up-to-date spy movie.
The powers to be in Russia, France, the U.S. and possibly others, have pooled their efforts in the hopes of taking down a stock market mogul, Rostovsky (Roth), suspected of being behind one of the largest money laundering schemes on the planet. The Russians have recruited the services of one of their best spies, Gregory (Dujardin), who examines the situation and feels that he requires the assistance of Alice (France). He feels her expertise will be needed in taking down Rostovsky because of her previous illegal activities in America as a banker.
An unnecessary love story blossoms between Gregory and Alice, which oddly enough adds to their distrust and concern about who they can actually put their allegiance behind. The flimsy romance suggests that the only reason these two are smitten with each other is because of their increased alone time and obvious physical attraction, but other than that I couldn’t find their relationship believable.
Even if we were to throw out the sexual partnership, the script begins to choke on its double agents and even people revealing themselves as triple agents. It doesn’t help that the confusing narrative that doesn’t quite reveal everyone’s ulterior motives. Plenty of scenes feel inessential. Moments that automatically come to mind include a dumbed down explanation of the movies metaphor and a very awkward, lingering sex scene where the director seems to be obsessed with Gregory fingers grazing Alice’s backside and feels more outlandish than it does intimate.
I can’t totally disregard MOBIUS though. There are plenty of technical and acting aspects I love. Roth is obviously a fantastic and well known actor (even in the states), but he does feel a bit underused. While I’ve never heard of Dujardin or France, I thought their performances were wonderful. The cinematography, especially the establishing shots in Morocco, were quite breathtaking. I also enjoyed the added level of realism created by multiple actors switching from the English, French and Russian languages when logically required.
The plot of MOBIUS can easily be disregarded, but it relies way too much on it. This is a movie that should have allowed our actors to take control and really propel this as a character driven story. We’re oddly explained, much later in the film, what a Mobius strip is. It’s a strip of paper that despite its winding loop shape, is still connected and actually a two-dimensional, but continuous strip. While the theme is explained in this instance, that moment made realize that MOBIUS gives the illusion that it’s a financial undercover agent movie, but is actually a glossy movie bogged down by its complex scenario.
MOBIUS BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:40:1) The digital transfer seems a bit grainy sometimes. The establishing shots are gorgeous, but indoor personal conversations don’t appear HD.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HDMA) After the first couple of minutes I had to turn my TV up because sometimes their normal talking felt like trying to eavesdrop on people whispering.
The Making of Mobius (10:10): This behind the scenes feature is divided into three sections. They can only be watched separately and not as one continuous piece. The first segment, ‘A Great Couple of Cinema’, focuses on the relationship between the characters and actors behind them. The second piece, ‘An International Cast’, talks about the difficulties and positives of working with different parts of the cast who are obviously from different countries. The third, ‘The Mobius Strip’, focuses on the concept of the Mobius strip. There’s a scene in the movie where a character describes it as a way to show the idea of being a double agent. This just goes further into the idea of it.
Interviews (41:18): This is a section with four different interviews. They interview the writer and director, Eric Rochant as well as the actors Tim Roth, Jean Dujardin and Cecile de France. They can only be played separately and not all together. Questions are posed on title cards before cutting to the answers with the subjects. They repeat this for each question which after a prolonged amount of time becomes incredibly dry, especially with the director which clocks in at almost 19 minutes.