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|Index||35 reviews in total|
One doesn't (when one is American, at least) expect to get glossy,
high-budget action films from the French; I didn't realize they even
MADE this kind of movie. Do industry folk believe that foreign action
films won't travel well or be able to compete with similar Hollywood
product? If so, I'm surprised THE NEST didn't change all that. (Maybe
it went straight to DVD here in the US.) Whatever the reason, this
superior example of tight, twisty action film-making is worth
recommending to anybody interested.
Boasting a great plot, better than average writing and acting, and knockout direction, the film involves four sets of people--two of them lawbreakers, the other two law enforcers, whom chance and a little coincidence bring together with frightening, violent, bloody and surprisingly believable results. Most of the action is confined to one huge warehouse, and the director manages to eek out every bit of surprise, suspense and clever logistics from this unusual location. I have not seen as good a film of this type since the original "Die Hard."
An ensemble piece using a terrific group of actors, the movie waits until its close to list its cast. I was so involved by the logistics and fast pace that I failed to recognize several of my favorite French actors: Benoit Magimel ("The Piano Teacher," "The King Dances"), Pascal Greggory ("Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train"), and Sami Bouajila ("The Adventures of Felix"). Director Florent Emilio Siri has a new film coming out next year ("The Hostage"); on the basis of his "Nest," I can't wait.
Note: the DVD comes in its original French language with English subtitles and with an English dubbed alternative--which I have heard is badly done. This is NOT a dialog-heavy movie (most actions films aren't) so try it with the subtitles. I did--and was hooked from start to finish.
Watching THE NEST I was reminded in quite a few ways of DIE HARD, which I
consider to be the archetypal action movie. Very pure of focus, very lean
and taught and *incredibly* intense. It's been a long time since a movie
kept me on the edge of my seat like this one.
The premise is very simple. A group of special forces soldiers are escorting a mafia head to trial when they're attacked by his men and take refuge in a warehouse. As luck would have it, a gang of thieves choose the same night to rob the same warehouse, and they get caught in the crossfire.
Once the groups of characters are introduced, it's not long before the bullets start flying... and flying, and flying and flying. It's almost non-stop action for the rest of the film, and easily outdoes HARD BOILED for bullet count. I'm sure some people will find this very boring, so if intense adrenalin-inducing action isn't one of your things then skip the rest of this review (and the film). The rest of you, skip the rest of this review and go rent/buy/acquire this film. Hollywood only wishes it could make an action film this pure or this exciting these days.
As regards purity (since I've mentioned it twice), this means that the film focusses on building intense action, and doesn't let itself get distracted with other concerns, except in a few cases. The characters are given just enough development to let us know who they are, and pretty much no back story. One character in particular seems like he must have a story to tell, but all we learn is that he was once a fireman. There was surely more to him than that, but it's kept a mystery. Maybe that's a good thing, but I'd have liked to know a little more. A few times the movie teases you into thinking there's going to be a twist, and you say to yourself "Ha, I see what's coming later", but the plot remains refreshingly twist-free. It doesn't need them, so it doesn't have them. Pure.
It's just a shame that Hollywood's marketing machinery has such an iron grip on the world's cinema distribution that junk like Alien vs Predator will be seen by millions of people, and a movie as good as THE NEST will remain inexplicably classed as "Indie" or "Arthouse", even in its home country.
This is a beautifully mounted action thriller that creates suspense with a deliberate setup and then wonderfully delivers on those expectations. When it gets going it's truly relentless. This is far better than any American action film of recent years and there's a lesson to be learned here. Especially with creating interesting multi-layered characters we care about coupled with the unpredictability that anyone can get killed at any time. When the audience cares about the characters the main battle of any action flick is won--we have a vested interest. At that point there's no other place to be but on the edge of your seat. If this is not picked up for US distribution it'll be a crime, and our loss.
For some people the words 'French' and 'Action Movie' will do nothing
but produce guffaws. Pay no attention; they know nothing about the
lengthy history of superb French Action Films. The French actually
produce some good movies from time to time. They are not all
pretentious 'Arthouse' flicks which involve lots of shagging and boring
Jean-Pierre Jeunet gave us Delicatessen and 'The City of Lost Children' - he then made 'Alien:Resurrection' but we forgave him when he delivered 'Amelie'. Then there is Luc Besson who gave us 'Subway', 'Nikita' as a warm up then the fabulous 'Leon' ('The Professional' in the US) and the superb 'Fifth Element'. If you check the production companies involved on those last two you will find that they are entirely French, only US distributors were involved. Besson has sort-of disappeared from movie making for a while, concentrating on producing and writing cheapo European action films like 'The Transporter' and 'Taxi' 1&2 (not the lame US remakes).
The reason for this lengthy preamble is to point out that not all French films are dull, and illustrate the fact that actually the French have a lot to teach a jaded Hollywood in how to make action movies. Which brings me to 'The Nest'.
I watched John Carpenter's fantastic 'Assault on Precinct 13' when I was probably 15 and bored one evening. I didn't know anything about Carpenter, the film had no recognizable stars and I had no idea what was going to happen. Needless to say the film is excellent. It was the first time in my cinema going life that I felt not just wonder when watching a film, but also claustrophobia, oppression and genuine fear. 'The Nest' is a total remake of 'Assault'. It doesn't hang about (though its setup is maybe a little longer and a smidge wider-ranging than Assault's), introducing three groups of characters so quickly that you genuinely have no idea what they are up to.
Sami Naceri, the star of the hugely daft Taxi films, is best known as a comic actor, yet plays successfully against type here (why isn't he a star on the same level as Jean Reno by now?)Pascal Greggory has the looks and presence of a hit-man, but is actually a security guard, Nadia Fares looks like a catwalk model, but utterly convinces as the military enforcer. The lesser characters (which isn't really fair as this is a purely ensemble piece of work) all inhabit their characters completely, their complex relationships spark off believable dialogue that never once slips into cliché. It is this commitment to reality that underlines 'The Nest' and makes it so successful.
Almost the entire film takes place in a single warehouse, which is similar to 'Assault' except that Carpenter's film had a number of locations within the police house. The Nest has three areas - a Boiler room, a security desk that has a clear view over the entire warehouse, and the warehouse itself. Although this lessens the claustrophobia somewhat, it is hugely successful in putting all of our characters in peril at once. Another twist is that in 'Assault' the characters can retreat through to another room of the building. Early on in 'The Nest' it becomes clear that their only area of retreat has already been compromised by the enemy.
The warehouse almost becomes a character itself, as the film becomes more and more desperate, the lights are removed and the shadows glower and threaten. Only bullet holes let in any more light, leaving shafts of light to taunt the stars with the hope they may get out of this alive.
This realism (which isn't entirely there in the plot TBH), extends to wounds. A character is shot in the thigh early on in the film and spends the rest of the film limping painfully about. Other characters are injured throughout the events and stay injured, they don't suddenly find the ability to fire guns after being shot in the shoulder. This is gritty film-making and helps make 'The Nest' so successful. It feels real, you don't know what characters are going to make it or not. This leads to genuine tension. We may have seen the story before (wounded character stays behind to protect his friends; scared character finds the inner strength to confront the enemies head on), but its presentation here feels exciting and, if not exactly fresh, new.
Another major lesson that Hollywood should learn from this film is the way it looks. There are some magic shots in here - a standout is an exact remake of Charlie Sheen's airlift from the Jungle in Platoon (!) - which not only looks great, and is genuinely unusual, but also adds greatly to our understanding of the character involved.
'The Nest' is not original, it is also not high art. It is an extremely solid action picture that is unusually exciting and tense. The director, Florent-Emilio Siri, conjures up desperation, hopelessness and genuine evil from his group of talented character actors as well as successfully re-creating Carpenter's feeling of an unstoppable army out to get them. The idea that the villains are insectile and swarming around outside highlighted by the low-light headgear they all wear is interesting and well illustrated. Siri got the gig directing Bruce Willis in 'Hostage', which is interesting as I would genuinely rate 'The Nest' alongside Willis' 'Die Hard' as examples of how to do an action movie well. It really is that good.
At last! Here comes a film where the French show the Americans how to make a
good action-movie. And that without high-tech effects or a multi-million
dollar (eh, euro) budget.
I never heard of this film anywhere, but the guy in the video store recommended it to me, so I checked it out... And, man, was it worth it!!! This film is the best action film I have seen for years. Not since Die Hard or Shiri have I enjoyed an action movie this much. As with most of these films the story isn't original and may be copied from other films, but so what? As long as it is done properly, so be it. And this film delivers. Non-stop action, realistic violence (meaning when someone catches a few bullets he/she stays down) and (the most important thing in an action film) good villains with absolutely no conscience. There is no exaggerated humour, no gags and no unbelievable gadgets. There was only one thing where I scratched my head: why do the terrorists give the others enough time to rearrange all the containers?
Bottom-line: if you hate these so called high-profile action films from Hollywood which want to be so über-cool (Bad Boys II anyone?) then check out this film. You will not regret it! 9/10
I was annoyed when I learned that they were doing a remake of
"Assault". When the movie came out, I knew I was right.
Then I saw this movie here on TV. Didn't really know what it was about, just saw that it starred Naceri of "Taxi" fame, so I decided to watch it.
From the moment everybody gathered in the warehouse, I instantly thought of "Assault".
Some others here seem not to have a clear remembrance of Carpenter's movie, but apart from a few new gadgets all the key plot points are completely the same. I won't give them away, as they would be major spoilers, but try to watch both movies together and you'll see.
But on the other side: This is a fine remake. You don't know who's gonna die, there are some interesting new plot points and the characters are believable (in "Assault", you learn nothing about the man they want, as he'snot talking any more. The Mafia guy is quite another quality...) I say, 8 of 10.
Just finished watching Nid de Guepes, or the Nest, as it is translated.
The beginning I found to be somewhat slow - there is very little
dialogue until the sh@t starts to fly in the building. However, I found
myself drawn to whether or not and more importantly who would make it
Overall, for an action movie, it was good - no hero machismo, no action stars . The one and only rescue attempt made (in the truck) is put to rest within a matter of seconds in a hail of bullets; something you don't see quite often in a typical Hollywood blockbuster.
There are no heroes, no guns for glory. It simply tells the story of a group of people, thrown into the same "merde", fighting to survive. Whatever remains of the bravado is quickly put to an end as you see how high the odds were stacked against them - the continuous legion of gunmen assaulting the factory in droves.
Not to mention Fares, switching from French, to Italian to English without missing a beat. Rrrroow.
A good flick
Way too many people like to pick apart a movie thinking they are a
movie critic. Makes you wonder if they ever take the time to WATCH the
movie, let alone try to enjoy it!
For me, this movie was intense! I liked the acting, though some of the crooks were a bit overboard, but what the heck would you do if you were there? Act calm? And some scenes were just plain jaw dropping for me. And the mercenaries always shown wearing the night vision masks are frightfully reminiscent of the pig masked killers in the old classic American Werewolf in London! It sure got to me!!!!
The best ways I could sum up this movie is:
1) I watched it TWICE when I rented it
2) I am going to buy this ASAP!!!!!! If you like a movie, show your support by buying it!!!! That is the BEST way to vote.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A really dramatic and terrifying action movie
While a small band of thieves are robbing a computer warehouse, an army of Albans mafia trying to recover their boss from the police, put the warehouse under siege with a few policemen and the thieves inside. Everybody has to fight for their lives. Whoever remembers Carpenter's Assault to Precinct 13, will find certain familiarities in the setup; but this is as far as it goes.
After the magnificent setup, where a few but perfectly staged scenes, almost without dialogue used to present the main characters, the action begins and does not stop until the movie ends. If you know little about French cinema, is very important to note that some of the best actual French actors are in this movie, so with such fine acting, you will be caring about the characters, even when you hardly know them.
Siri, the director, in order to make things more terrifying, present the enemy like a plague using night vision artifacts to cover their faces. Like insects or animals, they have no feelings, do not talk and kill everything that cross it path. In an early scene a father and his son (two innocent bystanders) are killed (the kid's murder is only suggested, but still proves the point).
The action scenes (about 60% of the movie) and the FX are on a par with any good American action flick, but in this case, the reality coefficient is a lot higher. There are no superheroes, Rambos or Diehards here; just people trying to survive (and very few of them are able to live by the end). Neither are superfluous romances (even when two of the characters are women, they are both fighters), gratuitous gore or humor (well, that could be good).
Many people will be disappointed by the abrupt end. The movie ends suddenly, but if you analyze the situation (subtle spoiler follows), outnumbered and with almost no bullets, the only other choice by the remaining survivors was to commit suicide.
As expressed before; even when very well orchestrated action sequences and explosions, this movie will hook you more on the dramatic level than in the spectacular. Probably not commercial as Hollywood films, but better done and worth seeing for sure.
A French action film that more than earns its place in the genre. It
pays homage to American action films and the Alien quadrology with its
score more reminiscent of a horror than an action film.
The plot is simple: a gang of ex-cons intend to rob a warehouse of a large stash of IT equipment. A multi-national police armed escort of a dangerous Albanian human trafficker interrupt their efforts when they are forced to divert and take refuge in the warehouse after being chased by cohorts of their prisoner, who are intent on springing him free. Trapped inside the warehouse the gang and police unite to stave off and survive the external attack from the Albanians.
The homage to the Alien films runs throughout from the opening credits where an image of white light holes, that we see later during one of the shoot outs, merge to form the title of the film as did the light in the universe at the start of 'Alien'. The Albanian thugs clearly represent the alien attackers and wear masks with red lights (that reminded me of the cybermen from Dr Who), which makes them look like aliens. There are lots of details in the film that seem to echo the Alien films, too many to list. One of my favourites is the way the Albanians call to the prisoner and he answers them from within the warehouse much as the alien soldiers call to the queen within the film 'Aliens'. There is also a dominant female lead Inspector Labourie, played by Nadia Fares, who like Ripley is maternal, courageous and ruthless in her quest to survive.
What this film brings to the action genre is intelligent imagery and a new brand of anti-hero. The film's title in French should read as 'Hornets' Nest' and not just 'The Nest'. The film begins with one of its anti-heroes, Louis, relaxing in the sunshine whilst a documentary plays on his TV. The documentary is the story of the 'Tarantula Hawk' wasp, which in French is called 'Pepsis Heros'. This wasp is described as being a parasitoid that ensnares Tarantulas as hosts for its larvae to use for food, eating the spider alive from within. Pretty gruesome stuff. The imagery is ambiguous because initially one expects the spider to win against the insect, but it falls prey. Throughout the film it is not clear who is wasp and who is spider: the ambushed/trapped people in the warehouse or the external attackers? Is the danger without: the wasp entrapping the spider (the Albanians attacking the warehouse), or from within where the wasp larvae eating their way out (the trapped turning on the attackers)? The intelligence in the imagery is that as the film progresses 'good guys' die and their success is uncertain, keeping the audience gripped to the last.
Of the handful of protagonists there are two anti-heroes: Louis, a warehouse security guard, and Santino, one of the ex-con gang who eschews guns for chewing gum and whistling. Both are thoughtful and resourceful, yet have an aura of mystery that keeps the audience unsure of them and their allegiances throughout. We see their bravery and their fears as well as their vulnerability to harm and death. Unusual in action heroes of any type.
I can't recommend this film enough and although it's great to discover a hidden gem, it deserves more accolade than its present IMDb rating gives.
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