Complete A-Z list

Connection, The


Stars: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Benoit Megimel. Mélanie Doutey, Céline Sallette, Féodor Atkine

Director: Cédric Jimenez

This dour French policier goes back to explore some of the territory covered by Hollywood's French Connection films of the 1970s, but now looking at the Marseille drugs problem from the point of view of idealistic 'magistrate' Pierre Michel (Dujardin) and his efforts to clean up the city, with narcotics big wheel Tany Zampa (Lellouche) as his top target.

Following initial successes, however, Michel is outwitted by his adversaries, undermined by corruption within the department and deserted by the authorities. Essentially of sunny disposition, Michel becomes obsessed by his enemy, overreaches himself and is removed from the case...until years later.

This character strangely parallels Dujardin's Oscar-wsinning role in The Artist, with initial popularity swiftly plunged into the depths of despair. The film itself is an efficiently-made, no-nonsense, typically Gallic thriller whose biggest crime is the heavingly overlong runtime.

Lots of brisk action, though, and fresh, clean colour photography of the French coastal areas by Laurent Tangy.

David Quinlan

France 2014. UK Distributor: Altitude. Colour by Eclair.
137 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 26 May 2015