The Sci-Fi Crime Thriller With Former James Bond Being Tossed Away To Time

By Robert Scucci | Published

Now that Beyoncé has her own Renaissance movie, it seems like the 2006 tech noir film of the same name is about to be forgotten. Also known as Paris 2054: Renaissance, this French-language animated movie was released with English dubs prominently featuring Daniel Craig’s voice acting. Renaissance was a box office bomb and received mixed reviews upon its release, but it’s still worthy of your consideration for its brilliant animation alone.

Daniel Craig In A Dystopian Future

Set in the year 2054, Renaissance is a movie boasting an epic cat-and-mouse game involving Daniel Craig’s Barthélémy Karas, who has been tasked with locating Ilona Tasuiev (Romola Garai), a young scientist working for the Avalon mega-corporation. Avalon is a technologically advanced (and experimental) health and beauty company that focuses primarily on producing beauty products. When Ilona mysteriously disappears, Karas begins his investigation.

A Twisting Conspiracy

Meeting with a former Avalon scientist named Dr. Jonas Muller (Ian Holm), Karas learns that Avalon’s reach and influence over its subjects is far more sinister than he initially predicted. While working for Avalon, Muller was working tirelessly to find a cure for progeria, a rare genetic disorder that eventually claimed the life of his brother. Muller reveals that he abandoned his research and left Avalon when his brother passed away but suggests that nobody ever really leaves Avalon, raising suspicion.

Trust No One

Renaissance is a movie that illustrates the point that nobody working for Avalon can be trusted when Karas digs deeper and starts questioning Ilona’s sister, Bislane (Catherine McCormack). Bislane, who also works for Avalon, has access to the company’s archives and begins her own investigation into the events that led to Ilona’s disappearance. It’s revealed that Muller was working alongside a researcher known as Dr. Nakata in his quest to find a cure for progeria, but they destroyed their research after a number of their test subjects were turned into mutants during human trials.

Highly Stylized Box Office Flop

Upon its theatrical release, Renaissance was a total box office flop, earning just over $1.8 million in movie ticket sales against its reported budget of $18 million. On the critical front, this ambitiously animated film was met with a 50 percent critical score against an audience score of 59 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Among the less-than-desirable reviews, critics pointed out that Renaissance was stylistically satisfying but fell short on the narrative front as if more emphasis was placed on its cinematography instead of its narrative.

Retro-Futuristic Vibe

Boasting a retro-futuristic vibe, Renaissance was praised for its animation style despite its thematic shortcomings. Through the use of motion-capture animation, the film is primarily black-and-white but tastefully places flashes of color into the background for added emphasis. The animation alone is reason enough to watch this film, and critics agree that viewers will be awestruck by how fluid the animation is during the more intense sequences depicted in the film.

Only Available Through Video On Demand

If you want to see what Renaissance featuring the former James Bond Daniel Craig is all about for yourself, you’ll have to rent the movie on demand, as it is not currently available for streaming. If you’re willing to throw down a few dollars for the sake of watching a visually stunning dystopian tech noir thriller that deserves a second chance, you can snag a copy on-demand through Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Vudu at the time of its writing.