Comic capers come easy for the French, so it takes a hotshot young filmmaker like Romain Gavras to rejuvenate the genre with verve and visual sophistication.
A crook goes for one last job. It’s not long before the plan skids entertainingly out of control. François (Karim Leklou) is a meek, small-time drug dealer in the Paris suburbs who wants to go straight by securing the North African franchise for a brand of frozen ice pops. Unfortunately, his mother, the brassy swindler Danny (a flamboyant Isabelle Adjani) gambled away his savings. To earn maximum cash in minimum time, François and his motley crew, including a taciturn conspiracy theorist played by Vincent Cassel, set up a deal in a garish Spanish resort.
It’s “Hollywood” in all the best ways, though it’s also sneaky smart. If you have any friends that refuse to read subtitles, this is the film to convert them. It helps that every single one of the performances is extraordinary, with Cassel delivering an uncharacteristic belly laugh with virtually every line. It’s as if France remade Snatch, only made it better. (Jack Whiting) Better tales from France. Better told. The rest US/UK hang out to snatch them into ‘effin’ gangsta language ‘we’ will better understand.