Le Samouraï

Le Samouraï ★★★

Fact: The main reason I've always wanted to see this film is because Letterboxd Godfather Adam Cook used it as his profile pic.

Part samurai film, part gangster flick, Jean Pierre Melville's Le Samouraï is considered a classic by many. I won't argue whether or not it's a classic, but I didn't like it as much as I'd hoped to.

After his most recent hit, contract killer Jef Costello (Alain Delon) is a wanted man by both the police and his employers.

Don't get me wrong, Le Samouraï is a fine film. It's just one of those classics that didn't live up to the hype for me personally. I thought the story was interesting, but I think maybe my issue was I've seen this type of story one too many times, and I would of benefited from seeing this film several years ago. I think that's my problem with a lot of classics. Some are best seen at or around the time of their release. Unfortunately for us film lovers it's not possible to see every film we want to see in it's time.

Interestingly enough, Le Samouraï kept making me think of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. Probably just because star Alain Delon's character doesn't say much, but it reminded me of it nonetheless. Delon's portrayal of Jef Costello is what I liked best about the film. The character is cool and calm despite his job and situation, and Delon is a perfect fit for the role. His performance definitely carries the film.

Outside of the fact I've probably seen too many similar stories and ones I liked better, I felt the overall film was a little uneventful. It's a simple cat & mouse story with no real surprises other than maybe the ending. Despite my minor gripes it's well worth seeing, especially for Delon who plays a hitman as cool as anybody I've seen.

The Ron Says: See it.

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