How entertaining? ★☆☆☆☆
Thought provoking? ★☆☆☆☆
5 August 2012
This a movie review of THE ASSAULT.
“If this goes wrong, it’s on you.”
Reportedly the real life event that THE ASSAULT is based on was viewed by 21 million peeps on television. Ironic, as this dreary thriller feels like an afternoon TV movie. Especially disappointing, as I particularly enjoyed director Julien Leclercq’s nifty sci-fi actioner CHRYSALIS. He seems to have thrown of the muscularly kinetic style, and gone for that tired faux-documentary look that hardly any helmer can avoid being self-conscious and annoying. I can think of just two: Paul Greengrass (of course!) and José Padilha (ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN). Leclercq has gone all jittery shooting and sudden zooms; coupled with a colour palette limited to metallics and blues. THE ASSAULT is laughably stylised.
Watching crack troops can engender vicarious thrills at witnessing expertise. Plenty of movies demo elite police and soldiers in action. THE ASSAULT adds nothing to that subgenre, being devoid of any tension due to parochial character creation. In addition, and the film’s greater crime, is its taking of an obviously harrowing vent – the terrorist hijacking of an Air France plane in 1994 – and delivering something so banal. I think we’re meant to care about one of the S.W.A.T. team, Thierry, but nothing interesting is offered the viewer. Genuine emotion is absent, and dialogue woodenly pensive.