Black Book

Rated 5.0

Black Book Old-school director Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Starship Troopers, Basic Instinct) is back with what is easily his best work in years. While Black Book does have its sporadic doses of mayhem interspersed with that Eurotrash fascination with pushing the sexuality hot buttons, the film is still a very solid piece of filmmaking. Black Book details the misadventures of a beautiful young Jewish singer trying to keep her head down (and attached) in the occupied Netherlands during the twilight of World War II. Familiar with betrayal she eventually works with the Dutch resistance by becoming the lover of a young German officer. As far as monsters go, he’s a nice enough sort and she ends up falling for him. And in the tradition of Grand Guignol melodrama at it’s finest, the scheisse really hits the fan. While at times the twists and turns of the narrative beg believability, Verhoeven oversees the proceedings with a bemused approach that imbues the ensuing car chases, explosions, death and absurdist mayhem with the glee of an intellectual 13-year-old. —