Tom Samaroden’s review published on Letterboxd :
Were all early 2000 French films like The Crimson Rivers? Granted I'm only basing my question off of this film and Brotherhood of the Wolf, which also stars Vincent Cassel. Both are strange genre mashups, that feature out of nowhere martial arts scenes. Both seem to be filmed in the same high intensity way. If these two films constitute a trend, I want to see more.
The Crimson Rivers succeeds from not really being like anything else. It has great acting from Cassel and Jean Reno. There are some really great scenes in it too that I think are done rather uniquely. One example, is when Cassel's detective is chasing a suspect, the sound cuts out to only his breathing and the footsteps as he's getting closer and closer, but ultimately doesn't prevail. I really dug it and haven't ever seen a footchase shot like that.
Crimson Rivers also has an intriguing story and mystery though it ends in a wholly unexpected place. Let's just say that when earlier in the film, Cassel's Max says to himself he hates fascists, I didn't think that would be an example of Chekhov's gun.
Anyway, I am happy to have seen this film, if only because it has provide me with an excellent double feature option for Brotherhood of the Wolf.