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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 28 June 2017
Well executed story of intrigue
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Kidnapped French soldiers in the hands of Congolese rebels kick off a tale of double, treble and quadruple dealing. A "fixer" admirably played by Andre Dussollier deploys political influence, an equipe of call girls and an assassin (a memorable character played by Thierry Frémont). But he is not the only player; there are journalists, various government security organisations and the local flics. The result is considerable mayhem until something approaching justice is achieved. Excellent action pieces and fight scenes; like a series of Spiral pressed into 99 minutes.
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Eric Valette seems the very definition of a hit-and-miss director, making his reputation with the French horror Malefique that was almost entirely confined to a prison cell and then losing it with the American remake of Japanese horror One Missed Call, capable of turning in a superbly directed chase thriller with The Prey and a conspiracy thriller as flat as Une Affaire d’État aka State Affairs. It’s not entirely without promise as it follows the aftershocks of the shooting down of a French plane delivering arms as a ransom for French hostages in Africa whose fate could decide the next French election, with Andre Dussolier’s government fixer attempting to set up another delivery without the press or the opposition finding out only to leave a trail of dead bodies thanks to informers and incompetents working for him.

To keep things a bit more interesting than men in expensive suits having meetings in isolated places where they talk around the elephant in the room, the film introduces what’s become the most overused cliché in French thrillers, the female cop who’s harder than the men she works with but is completely devoid of any personality traits beyond scowling or turning down dates, partnered with Gérald Laroche’s dead meat spaghetti western fan (and my doesn’t the Maurizio Graf’s rendition of Ennio Morricone’s title song from The Return of Ringo get a lot of play in the film at the most inopportune moments). It doesn’t help that Rachida Brakni is so relentlessly one-note and uncharismatic that you can’t care about her one way or the other – indeed, Thierry Frémont’s hangdog-faced security man who keeps on finding himself murdering people to cover up accidentally killing a blackmailing prostitute is a far more intriguing presence. Dussolier’s good value too in the kind of part he’s played so many times in better pictures that he could probably do it in his sleep, but for the most part it’s just a join the dots amble through the usual conspiracy clichés, professionally made but never much more than watchable and at times a bit dull. Still, at least at 95 minutes it’s short.

No extras apart from startup trailers for Brquo and Maison Close, but it is in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio with the original French language with optional English subtitles.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 22 September 2013
Released in France as "Une affaire d'état" way back in 2009 it has now finally made it to the UK. This then is a dark and complicated tale. We start with an explosion on an aeroplane and the murder of a `call girl' that le gendarmes think may be linked. We have some politicians so corrupt that they make Watergate look like a slight misunderstanding. We have the excellent Andre Dussollier as the governments `go to' guy to make things happen or disappear.

He has a rather handy assassin whom he uses to take out quite a number of extras and is played by the really rather good Thiery Fremont. Then there is the Madame who runs her own little crime empire and the girls do more than just `turn tricks' but some are clearly getting a bit too much pillow talk. Throw into the mix a hostage situation, arms deals and a great musical score and you have all the ingredients for a rather good crime thriller.

This is obviously in French and has very good sub titles. The CGI will not have you gasping and is a shame but you can't win em all. The acting is all really impressive and the framing of the shots and direction is excellent; not a duff performance to be seen and more twists than a twist fest. I actually really enjoyed it, at 99 minutes it was timed and paced perfectly, just a shame it took so long for a release but at least we got one and it was worth the wait.
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on 18 August 2013
I enjoyed this film, but it is no way as good as Braquo. It seemed to lack conviction which in turn affected my review.
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on 19 September 2013
I usually love French action films as they tend to be gritty with a good story line. I found this film, a little story light though and it never really gripped me as they usually do. However I think this is worth a rent or buy as it is still better then a lot of larger budget films
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on 29 August 2014
French cinema at its best.
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on 6 September 2013
Film's OK but totally inadequate English subtitles. Unless you speak fluent French, it is difficult to pick up anything except the broadest outline of the plot.
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on 18 February 2014
This action packed thriller opens with a plane explosion above the Gulf of Guinea - Africa. In a Parisian park an escort girl is murdered. These two events are connected by corrupt persons in power at the highest level, and are trying to overthrow the government of France.

Drugs on a vast scale are at the route of all the events, violence abounds in every scene. This is a very exciting thriller and holds your attention all the way.
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on 1 September 2014
thoughtful and thought provoking
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