Posts Tagged ‘French action’


Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

SENTINELLE is a pretty good 2021 French revenge movie that’s mostly made out of cliches, but benefits from a dedicated performance by its star Olga Kurylenko (HITMAN, MAX PAYNE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, OBLIVION, THE NOVEMBER MAN, BLACK WIDOW) and the artful direction of Julien Leclercq (THE ASSAULT, THE BOUNCER). You may also be interested to know that it’s only 80 minutes long. I don’t really subscribe to the “movies are too long these days” conventional wisdom, but I was looking for something to watch kind of late and I have to admit that brevity was one of the selling points for me in this instance. (It’s on Netflix.) (read the rest of this shit…)


Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

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…)

Lost Bullet 2

Monday, November 14th, 2022

LOST BULLET 2 is, yes, the sequel to LOST BULLET (Balle Perdue), the excellent 2020 French action film which, if you haven’t seen it, is your current mission. It’s on Netflix, you’ll probly like it, go watch it. Then I think you’ll want to watch part 2 and then come back and read this.

Writer/director Guillaume Pierret returns and continues immediately from part 1, in which mechanic Lino (Alban Lenoir, BIG BUG) went to prison for crashing a car through a building in a robbery to get his brother out of debt, then was recruited to build souped-up cars for an elite police unit, but was framed by a corrupt cop and had to escape and take part in a high speed chase driving a car containing the ballistic evidence of his innocence. A couple minutes in I actually realized I had to pause and re-read my review to remember who the characters were and what had happened. It’s more complicated than I remembered.

Okay, so Areski (Nicolas Duvauchelle, TROUBLE EVERY DAY) was the one who set Lino up. Marco (Sebastien Lalanne, THE SQUAD) is a co-conspirator who killed his brother. Julia (Stefi Celma, also from THE SQUAD, as is most of this cast, actually) is his badass colleague on the go-fast team and girlfriend. Moss (Pascale Arbillot, MY DOG STUPID) is the other cop who figured out he was innocent. And Charas is not in this one because he died, but he’s Lino’s mentor who is constantly discussed. (read the rest of this shit…)

Lost Bullet

Monday, January 11th, 2021

LOST BULLET (original title: BALLE PERDUE) is an outstanding 2020 French action movie that’s available on Netflix, and it turns out it’s one of my favorites of last year. It’s a car chase movie and a one-man-on-the-run-trying-to-prove-his-innocence thriller and there’s a little bit of fighting and both the action direction and the storytelling are beautifully clean. It feels raw and grounded, but in a good way, not in that joy-sucking sort of way where realism is more important than entertainment. Man, I loved this one.

It opens with Lino (Alban Lenoir, an actor/writer/action coordinator/second unit director on a show called Hero Corp), a mechanic, preparing a souped up engine on a small car and nervously strapping himself in, steeling himself for a crash. He picks up his Eddie-Furlong-looking little brother Quentin (Rod Paradot, STANDING TALL) and hands him a helmet, and we realize he’s planning to ram through the side of a jewelry store. Quentin tries to talk him out of it, thinking there’s no way they’ll make it through that wall in this little thing. But Quentin has a huge debt of some kind and Lino thinks this is the only way to save his ass. (read the rest of this shit…)