Renaissance (15)

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The Independent Culture

Like Angel-A, Renaissance is set in Paris and shot in black and white. But this is the monochrome of a very striking form of computer animation, the look of which informs a dark, if flimsy, tale of genetic abuse and espionage.

The film employs the motion-capture technique used in video games, and in Robert Zemeckis's 2004 children's film Polar Express, which records real actors' movements and feeds the data into computers; these movements are then applied to animated characters. The result is extremely realistic and, here, quite forbidding. The chiaroscuro nature of the drawing evokes a noir-like Paris that has developed as a labyrinth of skyscrapers, waterways, bridges and tunnels, at turns opaque and dazzlingly transparent, yet always sinister. This is light years away from the brightly coloured cheeriness of Cars.

What a shame that the story, involving an agent who stumbles onto a corporation's scientific skulduggery, is so lacklustre. Let's hope that Daniel Craig, one of a number of voice talents that fail to ignite the interest, didn't regard this as a trial run for Bond.