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The Emperor's New Clothes Review

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Rather than dying in exile, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris to reclaim former glories, his exile played out by a doppelgänger.

★★★★★

Built around a promising conceit - rather than dying in exile, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris to reclaim former glories, his exile played out by a doppelgänger - Alan Taylor's fanciful follow up to Palookaville is an unsatisfying slice of historical revisionism.

En route there are some clever touches, such as Bonaparte's return to Waterloo, now a tourist trap. But as the plot strands entwine - the real Bonaparte's slide into domesticity, the fake Bonaparte's untimely death - what should be charming emerges as flat and uninspired.

Even more shockingly, the script's inability to give Holm, his third time out as Bonaparte after Napoleon And Love and Time Bandits, any kind of comedic or dramatic meat results in a tame, uninvolving centre. Not dire, but you can't escape the feeling that there's a good movie in here trying to get out.

Not dire, but you can't escape the feeling that there's a good movie in here trying to get out.