ATHENA is an astonishing piece of filmmaking. I have no idea how they did it. I have one (1) huge issue with it, which prevents it from being one of my top movies of last year, but it’s a big ass spoiler that I will deal with separately at the end of this review. And you may disagree with me, so don’t worry about that for now. What’s important is that this is a thrilling cinematic experience and about as epic as a movie could feel while clocking in at less than 100 minutes. And it’s on Netflix – it’s one of the ones that actually wouldn’t exist if they hadn’t funded it – so it’s a very accessible way to get knocked flat on your ass by a concussion grenade of impeccable spectacle.
For those who haven’t heard of it, ATHENA is an intense French action-thriller about a battle between riot cops and the predominantly French-Algerian residents of a housing project (in a Parisian banlieue, you know, like the parkour movie) after the death of a 13 year old kid named Idir. Idir’s oldest brother Abdel (Dali Benssalah, NO TIME TO DIE) is a straight-laced soldier who exits police headquarters and announces to the press that they’ve promised to investigate which officers were responsible for his brother’s death. He asks that the people of the Athena project please stay calm and peaceful. (read the rest of this shit…)