(director/writer: Morgan S. Dalibert; screenwriter: Alban Lenoir; cinematographer: Florent Astolfi; editor:Tianes Montasser; music: Etienne Forget; cast: Alban Lenoir (Adam Franco), Eric Cantona (Victor Pastore), Sveva Alviti (Natalya), Saidou Camara (Pee Wee/Assan), Igor Kovalsky (Amet), Thibault de Montalembert (Kruger), Lucille Guillaume (Helene), Kevin Layne (Moktar Al Tayeb), Philippe Résimont (Senator Marconnet), Nathalie Odzierejko (Mona), Noé Chabbat (Jonathan), Vincent Heneine (Cisko); Runtime: 123; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Remi Leautier; Netflix; 2023-France-in French with English subtitles)
“The gritty action-pic has its moments when it chills, as the hero uses his fighting skills.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Morgan S. Dalibert’s directorial debut is this incredulous twisty action-packed French thriller. It’s about a veteran special ops agent, Adam Franco (Alban Lenoir), who after proving himself in a prior mission is secretly appointed by a high ranking French police official Kruger (Thibault de Montalembert) to go undercover to track down the Sudanese terrorist Moktar Al Tayeb (Kevin Layne) before he strikes again in Paris, after he supposedly blew up a hotel. To do this Adam infiltrates an organized crime family run by the ruthless Victor Pastore (Eric Cantona, soccer legend), who is cozy with the smuggler-terrorist.
Things got off to a rousing start with Adam in the opening scene posing as a journalist and taken as a hostage to the remote mountain part of Libya by an Islamic militant group, who keep him tied up in a cage in their hideout. But Adam communicates with a woman journalist held hostage (Sonia Gautier) in another cage and soon frees himself to gun down all the Arab captors and then on his boss’s orders also kills the hostage.
When back in Paris, Adam goes on his unofficial assignment. He talks Victor into hiring him as another muscleman for the organization, and gets the job because of his experience in the French Foreign Legion. He also becomes a driver, a boxing instructor and a protector for Victor’s unhappy bullied 8-year-old stepson Jonathan (Noé Chabbat), whom he bonds with.
Adam partners with gang member Pee Wee (Saidou Camara), gets along with Victor’s untrustworthy night club brothel runner wife Natalya (Sveva Alviti) and his teen daughter Helene (Lucille Guillaume).
Spoiler alert: spoiler in next paragraph.
The gritty action-pic has its moments when it chills, as the hero uses his fighting skills whenever he needs to. He also eventually figures out he’s being used by Kruger and his corrupt political friend Senator Marconnet (Philippe Resimont) to go after a Sudanese politician who is innocent. Despite his violent history, Adam keeps his promise to protect young Jonathan from all the evil things around him and to fight against the bad guys whether they’re terrorists or corrupt politicians.
REVIEWED ON 5/25/2023 GRADE: B-