A fairly stock standard contemporary police drama, set in Geneva. It starts out looking very cliché, just like a lot of others in the genre. The main character Decker is part of a Swiss SWAT team, he is something of a maverick figure, with an unhealthy respect for doing things according to the book, but he gets away with his transgressions because he is able to get results for things done, dangerous things. He is married to his job, in a sort of obsessive compulsive way, to the extent that he has no home life. His first wife has left him, taking his angst ridden teenage daughter with her. The daughter dabbles in drugs and he has been absent from her for long periods of her development and important events. He even reacts to an emergency call from HQ like one of Pavlov's famous canines, right in the middle of her birthday. They call he responds. Sound familiar ? The only thing really missing here is a drinking problem.
He also fights constantly with the ex wife, he neglects his girlfriend, but he lives for his team. Then on routine escort duty he picks up a prisoner. The prisoner turns out to be his former partner Preiswerk, and it is obvious right from the outset there is plenty of history, bad feelings and some unfinished business between them. At this stage you might think of turning it off saying to yourself, been there, seen that, but then the move begins to refocus and reshape itself. A series of sepia stills is inter-cut into the action, with no explanation. Little pieces of the plot begin to shift away from the cliché ridden as the history of the main characters slowly takes shape and with some surprises. The new pieces begin to fall into place, and each new piece of the mystery revealed only makes for another layer of complexity. Many common plot devices are used, but they are then given a tweak and twist here as the film moves ever further away from being just a string of clichés, as it develops. When push comes to shove, Decker shows scant regard for authority, taking matters into his own hands, with results that aren't unexpected. We have seen it all before, probably a hundred times over, as the past is revealed, everything is explained and all the loose ends are tied up. It would be easy to dismiss the film at this stage, but it would be wrong to do so, for it isn't just the main characters who drive the action forward, minor character are also able to shift it too, from one side or the other. What we are left with at the end is nothing really new, but a slick product nonetheless. The film does have some nice touches though, not the least being a couple of haunting tracks, sung in English by the little known Better in Springtime.
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