The 36th Precinct is a French neo noir written and directed by Olivier Marchal. This film revolves around two men fighting for power in the police force. They are played by Daniel Auteuil who plays Leo and Gérard Depardieu who plays Denis. This film takes place over a long period of time and has many sub plots. There are also a number of minor characters, some of which I wish we learned a bit more about. The two stand outs for me are Catherine Marchal, who plays a detective new to Denis’ team and Francis Renaud, who plays a hot head young officer on Leo’s team.
This story starts out with a perfectly executed armed car robbery. The group all wear masks and work well as a team. Leo’s team is soon on the scene to investigate. Denis’ team also shows up at the scene of the crime. We can see the tension between our two leads as we learn they where once friends but something has made them bitter enemies. Then there is a meeting between the Police Chef and Leo, he is told who ever solves this crime is more than likely going to be the new Police Chef.
This sets up a fight for power between the two, both of which use criminal connections to get ahead. These criminal connections maybe the downfall of one or both of our leads. This story is a more complicated than a simple armed car robbery case and covers many years of back and forth struggles between these two men.
This film has been in development for sometime as a Hollywood remake. I think this is actually a good idea. Moving the film to a United States city and adding a little to the plot for an American audience may actually make for a good film. I feel this film is very good, but I personally think this plot is to complex for a simple 2 hour film. I would love to see this developed into a premium cable channel’s television series. This could be great as an 8 hour series in the vain of True Detective or Rectify. They could develop a few of the other characters and both of the main characters marriages in a short series. This could even be a jumping off point for a season 2. Either way I look forward to the remake of this film and in the meantime I think most will enjoy this original.