Vjeran Tomic: The Spider-Man of Paris (2023) Movie Review – An extraordinary story about an extraordinary thief

An extraordinary story about an extraordinary thief

Vjeran Tomic is commonly referred to as the Spider-Man of Paris – and for good reason. Now 55 years old, Vjeran Tomic made headlines around the world when he broke into the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris back in 2010. But how did he do it? How did he manage to steal 5 masterpiece paintings without alerting any guards? And how did he do it without being seen?  This tell-all film, narrated from Tomic’s own experience, is both revealing and gripping from start to finish.

The first 8 minutes or so introduces Tomic and uses a number of re-enactments to show his planning and prep for breaking in. From here, the film then cuts back in time to explore more of Tomic’s background and what led him to a life of crime, complete with archival footage from the past. 

Vjeran Tomic suffered a difficult childhood, and despite a brief stint in the army, soon turned to a life of crime. This, combined with Tomic’s adrenaline rush through his natural ability to climb, led him on a one-way ticket to burgularies.

At this point, the film moves into Tomic’s life of crime and what eventually led him to the museum and the heist therein. It’s a fascinating story, and one that turns during the middle portion to more of a cat and mouse chase. The authorities are unsure where the paintings are – or who has them. Tomic meanwhile, is caught between a rock and a hard place, thanks in part to the exploits of his buyer, Cortez.

As the film progresses, we’re briefly introduced to a guy called Yonathan Birn, while the interviews branch out to include detectives, the Director of the museum itself and even a victim of Tomic’s early-days of burglary, Veronica. There’s some really revealing segments here, and hearing Tomic’s take on life and class, alongside how the victims and authorities feel about the deeds, is a welcome inclusion to balance out the perspective.

With very few people to confide in, the fact that Tomic takes to speaking to a homeless man named Guillarme speaks volumes about his character. However, there’s also a part of Tomic that very clearly feels the need to be loved and respected for who he is – and what he can do.

This stems back to his childhood, and you can tell this is a painful part of Tomic’s life, given how quickly it’s brushed aside. Personally, it would have been nice to explore that a little more, including what impact that’s had on Tomic growing up and his early years with crime.

There’s also a distinct absence of detail about his time behind bars too. While we’re not expecting something akin to Prison Break, it would have been nice to hear from Vjeran Tomic how he coped in prison being bars, along with what the other inmates thought of him.

Despite those gripes though, this is a fascinating and revealing documentary, shedding light on a prolific and extraordinary thief. The re-enactment scenes are endearing and hearing first-hand from Tomic about the heist and what ensued after, makes for a very authentic watch. This one comes highly recommended.

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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