It's easy to root for one of the "bad guys" in this smart thriller from Eric Valette.
Franck (Albert Dupontel) is serving time for a bank robbery when he finds himself rescuing a fellow prisoner from a brutal attack. He believes the man, Jean-Louis (Stéphane Debac), is innocent of the crimes for which he's accused. When Jean-Louis is released from prison, he offers to pay back Frank's kindness by helping him protect his family on the outside.
Fearing he may have made a terrible mistake in trusting Jean-Louis, Franck escapes from prison and lives on the run, desperately searching for his wife and child while at the same time hiding from law enforcement who believe he's a serial killer.
Each layer of discovery in this film represents a thrill ride for the audience—from the cops in pursuit of Franck to the sadistic nature of the real serial killer. There are foot chases, shoot-outs, stake-outs, setups and an abundance of bloody results.
Thankfully, the lead actors do a brilliant job of convincing the audience that each act is feasible, which is enough to keep us hanging on through the twists and turns of the story to the very end.
Though there are undeniably formulaic elements to the script, the results are perfectly satisfying.
Labels: 2013, Cinebanter, crime, France, independent film, murder, pedophile, prison, review, Tassoula, The Prey, thriller