Who is a terrorist, and who is a freedom fighter? This based-on-fact action drama about a 1988 hostage crisis in a tropical French colony, when local separatists took over a police station, focuses tightly on procedural as military negotiator Mathieu Kassovitz works to extract those captured while doing to his best to avoid further radicalizing the locals. Perhaps the focus on the procedure is too tight: the film often gets bogged down in it. Some bits are quite good, however: Kassovitz, delivering more as star and director than as writer, gives us a chaotic jungle battle scene that presents the illusion of a seamless single take; and running motifs of politics and media threatening the negotiations are deftly handled. A bit of judiciously editing was needed, perhaps, to tighten it all up.
Like what you’re reading? Sign up for the daily digest email and get links to all the day’s new reviews and other posts.
shop to support Flick Filosopher
Independent film criticism needs your support to survive. I receive a small commission when you purchase almost anything at iTunes (globally) and at Amazon (US, Canada, UK):