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Perhaps not quite as bad as the general slaughtering this film received upon its release in France still, "De Force" doesn't quite manage to build any sort of tension despite trying all it can to resemble a descent thriller, action film.
Firstly, the acting, Eric Cantona is surprisingly convincing even if the heavy dialogues verge on the laughable. The ever watchable and talented Isabelle Adjani does what she can with a story that frankly is not very plausible. Anne Consigny is a little stiff, the rest of the cast are good, with a special nod to Thierry Fremont who is quite scary.
In the last few years, with TV series like "Damages" "The Wire" "The Killing" or even french made "Braquo" -for which, interestingly Frank Henry worked as a co writer- we, the public, have become accustomed to solid stories, great acting and griping, edge of your seat plots and sub plots.
As for movies, the list would be too long to name taut, energetic action packed thrillers. "Pour elle" (anything for her) "Read my lips" "tell no one" or "point Blank" are just a few example of french films which successfully transcended the genre.
I personally haven't got a problem with over the top story lines, I am very good public in general, however "De force" feels rather weak. Action sequences are dull, slow,not particularly exciting. Maybe instead of landing on Rezo film production desk, the script should have gone to Luc Besson who would have given the film a little more panache and visual flair. The plot certainly lends itself to something more than what ultimately looks like an average, inoffensive made for TV movie.
I still watched it with interest, possibly because of 2 lead actors and also partly because I had read Frank Henry's story who is a first time writer and director on this. That in itself captured my imagination more that his film.
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