Les Insoumis / Crossfire (2008) - An outstanding acting meets a twisted story puzzle - 8/10 (19/06/12)
"Les Insoumis" is a surprisingly solid French action-thriller. It convinces with a twisted story line that ends in a rather classic and predictable ending but the beginning and the middle of the movie present a lot of tension filled events such as the desperate woman with the sick daughter that misses her husband, the young drug dealer that gets killed in strange circumstances, the racist legionnaire that shoots cats at night, the mysterious burglaries in a weapons cache or the suspicious past of the new police commander. All these events create an addicting puzzle the viewer has to put together before the final solution is presented.
The movie also convinces with a very authentic social portrait of a desperate suburb in the south of France where authorities are not respected and even young kids insult police officers. The movie shows pitiless desperate young drug dealers, corrupt police officers, brutal thugs and pervert racists. Among these negative characters, there are also a couple of shining lights such as the police commander's friendly neighbour or some of his colleagues that try to do their job the best they can despite a lot of problems.
The acting in this movie is definitely the best point. The rather unknown Richard Berry does an incredible job in the role of the cold, dutiful and straight police commander Vincent Drieu that has to fight his past demons to not repeat the mistakes he has once done. His acting is very authentic, filled with emotions and extremely addicting. I hope to see more movies of a similar kind with him in the future. The supporting actors also do an incredible job and portray very authentic and touching characters. I just want to cite the very charming but refreshingly down to earth character of Kathia that is portrayed by the very strong actress Aïssa Maïga that I particularly liked. She's quite the opposite of the main character and this contrast is why they fit so well together in this movie.
Apart of these addicting characters and a very solid screenplay, the movie convinces with many well done action sequences, especially in the beginning and the ending of the movie. These scenes keep the pace high and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. These scenes are nothing new to the genre but once again filled with a lot of suspense and an excellent acting.
In the end, I think that this movie should be more famous than it actually is. The acting is simply amazing, the story has some quite good ideas and the pace of action and suspense is always very fast. The only negative points are the too generic and predictable ending that doesn't fit to the rest of this original movie and the fact that this movie could have been a little bit longer. I would have liked to see an even stronger character development because the different characters were simply authentic. Once again, France has proved that they can do excellent action and suspense movies and not only the usual comedy and drama movies that get way more world wide attention.