Maggie Cheung (playing herself) has been cast by a once revered but now out of touch director as the latex-clad cat-burglar in his ill-fated remake of the French classic 'Les Vampires'. From the moment she arrives in Paris chaos ensues until the director finally has a breakdown and is replaced by another who doesn't know why she was cast in the first place. Amidst all the confusion Cheung becomes drawn to her character and is soon pulling on latex and prowling her hotel corridors at night.
Irma Vep (an anagram of vampire) is a fairly enjoyable, if slightly plotless, film about the making of the titular movie. Playing like a home movie, it shows a slightly bewildered Maggie Cheung trying to cope with a director who's having a nervous breakdown as well as lesbian love interest.
The film seems to suggest French film-making has reached the end of its tether. The director has run out of ideas and seems to be re-making an old movie mainly for the pleasure of seeing Maggie in a tight-fitting latex outfit. Unfortunately, Irma Vep itself, seems a bit too pre-occupied with the latex-clad Maggie Cheung, although anyone who shares this fetish should be well-pleased.
As reviewed by Twinkles McShifty, the films depicts very French takes on a classic. It's not a bad movie, that choses to depict very 'realistic' or 'truthful' moments of French lifestyle, 20 years ago. Ever lasting suppers, conversations, arguing the genius of the new or the old. It seems that Maggie Cheung intended to introduce Hong Kong people to a certain side of French life, while Olivier Assayas enjoyed the occasion to catwalk his latex-clad wife around Paris for the duration of his movie.
Not a bad movie, but not truly enjoyable either. I was hoping for more on the basis of other reviews (tomato meter et al.), hence a little disappointment. 2.5 stars would have suited me.