"Abhorrent, Excessive and Superficial"
What You Need To Know:
This movie is unusual. It isn’t a stereotypical story where a character finds loads of cash and immediately uses it for shallow, materialistic things. Because of his interest in philosophy and morality, Pierre tries to convince others to be more selfless. However, the movie has a strong Romantic, politically correct, anti-capitalist worldview with many questionable elements, including much lewd content and some extreme violence. This mixture ultimately turns THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE into an abhorrent, superficial work.
THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE is a French Canadian movie about an anti-capitalist pseudo-intellectual who finds a stash of stolen gangster money and tries to use it for what he considers good. This French Canadian movie has some entertaining, touching moments, but it has a strong Anti-American, anti-capitalist, Romantic worldview with strong foul language, excessive lewd content, and brief graphic violence.
THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE follows Pierre-Paul Daoust as he goes on a routine delivery day in Montreal, Canada. Although he has a Ph.D. in philosophy and strives to make the world a better place, he also has to make a living, and delivers packages for a local company. As he makes a stop near a clothing store, he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a robbery. Two men have attempted to empty out the safe in this store, but were confronted by a henchman, and a shootout ensues. Pierre sees one man run around the corner just escaping the shots, but dropping a giant bag. As another man stumbles out of the store with many bullet wounds, he drops dead, also dropping a similar bag filled to the brim with cash. Pierre has to think fast. He grabs both bags and shoves them into the back of the delivery truck. Just after this, the police arrive and question him about the situation. Pierre lies about what he has seen and gets out as soon as he can.
Pierre volunteers at a homeless shelter regularly and has made friends with many of the people who frequent these places. He’s an anti-capitalist, left-wing philosopher who hates America’s influence on Canada. While having a beer with a homeless man who’s become a good friend, Pierre sees on the news that a man is being released from prison who he thinks could help him with this new situation. He approaches the man upon his walk out of the prison asking for his financial advice. After repeatedly telling Pierre, “No,” he finally agrees to help him launder the stolen mob money and figure out what to do with it. Pierre has already spent a small chunk of money on an online prostitute that he now believes he loves. He calls her again just to hang out and tells her about the money.
Now, Pierre’s assembled a small team to weigh in on how to launder all of this cash so that it won’t raise any eyebrows, especially with the authorities breathing down their necks. Besides the police, it turns out that the money belonged to a notorious gangster who controls much of the mob in the city. Now, the gangster’s torturing anyone who was involved to get some answers about where all of his money went.
Though not a truly deep thinker, Pierre wants to do good and appeals to the people around him about how they also can be a positive help in the world. At one point, he has a prostitute, a former criminal, a few henchmen, and investigators all serving homeless people in the food kitchen. His passion for philosophy and helping the less fortunate, highly influences the way in which he handles this money.
The title of this movie can be quite misleading. From the sound, it could seem to be a war epic when in fact, it tries to be a witty comedy with an underlying message. Though Pierre is trying to treat people out of his sense of what love means, his worldview, and that of the movie, is Romantic, politically correct, and anti-capitalist. That said, the movie comes across as lighthearted and funny, with some touching moments of kindness.
However, THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE contains a high amount of immoral, questionable elements. It has a lot of unnecessary sexual content and some strong foul language. It also has some brief graphic violence, including a cringe-worthy torture scene. Ultimately, the mixture of this objectionable content with the movie’s simple-minded politically correct worldview turns THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE into an abhorrent, superficial work.