DVD Verdict
Home About News Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Forums Judges Contact  

Case Number 20491: Small Claims Court

Buy The Hessen Conspiracy at Amazon

The Hessen Conspiracy

Anchor Bay // 2009 // 113 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 13th, 2011

• View Judge Johnson's Dossier
• E-mail Judge Johnson
• Printer Friendly Review


Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!




 

All Rise...

Judge David Johnson and the Hessens just don't get along. And that's a fact, Jack.

The Charge

Noir-lite.

The Case

The first thing you'll notice about The Hessen Conspiracy (a.k.a. The Hessen Affair) is the terrible Photoshop art on the DVD cover case. There's just something about Fake Billy Zane's head. It seems out of proportion and pasted awkwardly on Fake Billy Zane's torso.

So, Billy Zane is in this movie and he plays an Army officer named Jack Durant. It's 1945 and Jack is wrapping up his WWII duties while killing time in a fancy castle in Frankfurt, Germany. While there, he discovers a cache of priceless jewels, belonging to the princess of the castle. He and his hot new flame, Lt. Kathleen Nash (Lyne Renee) hatch a plan to smuggle the jewels out of the country and hook up with a sleazy buyer in the United States.

But things aren't that easy and soon the lovers find themselves caught in the middle of an Army investigation, a gangster's retaliation and their own tenuous alliance.

The Hessen Conspiracy is alright. It's a bit corny, contrived, and tries really hard to be sexy and noir, but by the time the credits roll, there's not a whole lot to take issue with. The story unfolds nicely enough and doles out the plot twists effectively, leading up the Necessary Twist that's not quite neck-snapping, though satisfying.

Billy Zane does a good job as the headliner and, frankly, looks like he lost a generous amount of weight. He's not quite back to that-douche-in-Titanic stature, but he's got that spunk back. On the other side is Lyne Renee, a suitable femme fatale, benefiting from a hearty effort by the cinematographer to light her face like she's in a Bogart movie.

Unfortunately, that over-eagerness to "noir the movie up" backfires. That lighting gimmick is overused and distractive, the script feeds the characters smart-ass one-liners (because, as everyone knows, in the 1940s people only talked in smart-ass one-liners) and Zane's narration just seems corny. At least he didn't say "dame."

These are dopey elements, yet taken in the context of the whole film, non-lethal. For a decent, nicely-staged period suspense film, The Hessen Conspiracy largely delivers.

The disc: a nice 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, Dolby Digital 5.1 and no extras.

The Verdict

Not entirely guilty, no.

Give us your feedback!

Did we give The Hessen Conspiracy a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review


Follow DVD Verdict


Other Reviews You Might Enjoy

• Casino
• Tortilla Soup
• Nickelodeon / The Last Picture Show
• The Skeleton Key

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile

Studio: Anchor Bay
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 113 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Crime
• Drama
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.