★★★★ Movies.ie ★★★★ Independent (UK)
This film closes on Thursday, June 11th.
While William Friedkin’s The French Connection (1971) centred on the American side of the heroin-smuggling ring that operated for decades between Marseille and New York, director Cédric Jimenez instead depicts the lesser-known details of French authorities’ battle to shut down the operation at their end. When magistrate Pierre Michel (Jean Dujardin, The Artist) is appointed head of the organised crime task force, he brings a zeal and commitment to the role that slowly but steadily achieves results, much to the increasing chagrin of kingpin Gaëtan Zampa (Gilles Lellouche). With Pierre’s successes comes greater danger however, to the consternation of his family.
The film has an expert eye for period detail and this, combined with the satisfying pacing, lends it the air of a gritty, 1970s crime thriller, while the similarities between the nemeses owes a debt to Michael Mann’s Heat (1995). (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
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