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Shut Up! (Tais Toi) Review

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An unlikely pair of convicts are made cellmates by the prison psychologist with unforeseen consequences.

★★★★★

Gérard Depardieu brings a little Obélix to his fifth collaboration with French comedy king Francis Veber. But, as hard as he and Jean Reno strive for laughs, this buddy comedy never quite takes off. It’s an amusing premise, with a prison shrink pairing the painfully literal Depardieu with the murderously taciturn Reno in the hope of provoking him into revealing the whereabouts of a mobster’s loot. However, following a freak escape, the cellmates forge an unlikely alliance that is reinforced by a series of slapstick set-pieces.

The performances are laudably deadpan, with Depardieu particularly relishing the chance to indulge in some doltish innocence. But Veber’s scripting and direction lack inspiration, and it’s never as amusing as it should be.

Laudably knockabout performances from Gérard Depardieu and Jean Reno can't prevent a decent premise from sliding into slapstick contrivance.