Renaissance  (2006)    61/100

Rating :   61/100                                                                     105 Min        15

The most striking aspect of this animation is its austere use of black and white contrasts, which initially made it a little painful to watch (lights had to be turned off as a necessity) but come the end I was thoroughly enjoying its unique style. If you were to imagine a beautifully inked noir graphic novel suddenly come to life as a series of moving pictures before you, this is exactly what you would see. The title refers to the literal meaning of the French word, rebirth, and the story takes place in Paris in the year 2054, where we see a young woman being kidnapped and a hard boiled cop enjoined to track her down.

Daniel Craig voices the lead, and as always with animation there is the inherent distraction of time spent thinking ‘I know that voice! Who is it, hmm…’ and the satisfaction of finally getting there (or the irritation of not), to help everyone along, there is a connection linking the hero to the villain, and again from the villain to the guy in the middle. The plot revolves around the disappearance of the girl and the cosmetics company she works for, unfolding in very traditional film noir style. Enter the role of the disappeared’s sister, and the worst elements of the film are revealed, as suddenly both the dialogue and its delivery, along with the concepts, nose dive into a corny and ill developed pastiche of the genre.

It’s not gripping, but it does have a lot of credible artistry to it. Fans of different styles of animation (a combination of motion capture and 3D computer graphics were used here) will probably get more out of it than followers of film noir will, but it’s probably still worth a look in for both.

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