- Director: Michael Noer
- Writer: Henri Charrière; Aaron Guzikowski
- Producer: Ram Bergman; Terence Chang
There's the good new: It is nowhere near as bad as expected. And, there's the bad news: It's nowhere near as good as the original.
Charlie Hunnam looks - uncannily - like Steve McQueen and Rami Malek does a rather strange impression of Dustin Hoffman. It really is a case of fresh actors bringing an old story to a new generation. Nothing wrong with that in principle...however, when both writer and director fail to bring something new to the table, comparisons will always be made and the original will always win!
Charlie needed to embrace the part more...yes, he certainly looks good and even after a rather lengthy stint in solitary confinement, he still looks [too] good to be believable. But...if it's eye-candy you're after, look no further. There's a strange dream/hallucination sequence where Rami ditches his Hoffman and does a Marcel Marceau, replete with mime and white face...a most beguiling decision from the director.
Still...if it brings new audiences to old stories, job done. It just needed to be dirtier, skinnier, grimmier and grimmer...and, a bit more emotion would have helped enormously.
Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books "Papillon" and "Banco", PAPILLON follows the epic story of Henri "Papillon" Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil's Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon's escape.