The Serpent Review

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Accused of murder and pervertion, blackmailed by a lunatic - life's not going great for Vincent (Yvan Attal).


People often blithely ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Well, in this case it’s being branded a pervert, accused of murder and being blackmailed by a lunatic, all the while trying to navigate a messy divorce.

Welcome to Erc Barbier’s happy-go-lucky The Serpent. Based on the novel, Plender, by Ted ‘Get Carter’ Lewis, the story sees Yvan Attal’s Vincent as the victim whose life is torn asunder by extortionists.

The appropriately serpentine plot throws some unexpected kinks, and Clovis Cornillac makes an engaging antagonist, infiltrating Vincent’s life. Ultimately, though, the scam falters in the final act, falling back on staid thriller conventions and culminating in a daft showdown.

An appropriately serpentine plot makes for an engaging thriller. It’s a shame then that the final showdown is so daft.