Frederic Schoendoerffer's French gangster movie Truands aka Paris Lockdown may not have much plot but, unlike his catastrophically dull and inert (if such a word could be used about a film mostly comprised of scenes of people walking) Agents Secrets, there's enough incident to compliment the ambiance. With its philosophising limited to the odd line like "To dodge a bullet you hold the gun," there's a satisfyingly unsentimental approach to its pragmatic criminal antiheroes, the violence brutal but the torture scenes not dwelled upon - the aim of the criminals is to get their message across as quickly as well as as painfully as possible. The emphasis on efficiency over grandstanding extends to the film's biggest setpiece, a well-staged but not too over the top shootout in a parking lot marred only by not knowing who is doing what to whom.
Olivier Marchal, ex-cop turned actor-director (36 Quai des Orfevres, MR 73) has the perfect face for a professional villain, which is enough to offset leading man Benoit's Magimel's occasionally unfortunate resemblance to British comedian Paul Whitehouse here, but the standouts in the cast are Philippe Caubere's crimelord whose arrest causes a dangerous power vacuum and Tomer Sisley's small-timer who's come out of jail with religion and a burning desire to stick it to the old school. It's not a great film and breaks no new ground, but it covers it pretty well, and there's a nice throwaway in-joke where one character watches one of the director's father's films, La 317ème Section.
The UK PAL DVD boasts a decent subtitled 2.35:1 widescreen transfer and includes a lengthy 52-minute documentary on the making of the film and the UK and international trailers for the film.