22 user 29 critic

The Ax (2005)

Le couperet (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 2 March 2005 (France)
1:32 | Trailer
A chemist (Garcia) loses his job to outsourcing. Two years later and still jobless, he hits on a solution: to genuinely eliminate his competition.




Donald E. Westlake (novel), Costa-Gavras (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
José Garcia ... Bruno Davert
Karin Viard ... Marlène Davert
Geordy Monfils Geordy Monfils ... Maxime Davert
Christa Théret ... Betty Davert
Ulrich Tukur ... Gérard Hutchinson
Olivier Gourmet ... Raymond Machefer
Yvon Back ... Etienne Barnet
Thierry Hancisse ... Inspecteur Kesler
Olga Grumberg Olga Grumberg ... Iris Thompson
Yolande Moreau ... Préposée poste
Dieudonné Kabongo Dieudonné Kabongo ... Quinlan Longus (as Dieudonné Kabongo Bashila)
Jean-Pierre Gos ... Garagiste
Vanessa Larré Vanessa Larré ... Prédatrice
Serge Larivière ... Inspecteur Police
Jeanne Savary Jeanne Savary ... La présentatrice TV


Bruno Davert, a chemist working for a paper company, is fired. After three years he's still unemployed, too much competition for the few job position he could fit in his sector. He sent tons of resumes, he attended many qualifying courses, he tried everything but there is nothing to do: no job for him in the industry. The only healthy company in the sector is "Arcadia", but joining it is just an impossible dream. At this point Bruno is desperate. What he could do: to kill all the competitors? Could he? Written by 1felco

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some people would die to get (him) this job. [Scandinavian DVD.]


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation en France: #110116 See more »


At the beginning, when Davert (Garcia) gets out of the shower and then immediately returns to the bathroom to vomit, you can see in the mirror that he is wearing an underwear. See more »


Gérard Hutchinson: Vous savez, au bout de cinq ans de chômage on est devenu... non, comment on dit en français?
Bruno Davert: Has-been.
Gérard Hutchinson: Ah oui, voilà, has-been.
See more »


References Taking Lives (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Family, Work and Society
8 April 2007 | by andrabemSee all my reviews

Costa Gavras is a master of the political film. Political films in general are not my cup of tea. They try to convey some kind of message to the public, and they do it by portraying the persons in a stylized way, losing in depth in the process. People are portrayed realistically but their conflicts are simplified because the political film intends to portray society and its problems - unemployment, hunger, class exploitation and so on - in other words, they talk about the big (lack of bread, for instance) and forget the small (emotions like loneliness and sadness, for instance).

Many political films concerned about their objectivity are quite emotionless, or else their emotions are one-sided - bad and ugly live here, beauty and love live there, or the other way around.

FEW POLITICAL FILMS are able to bridge this gap: to talk about society and at the same time not forget the individual man and his/her very complex universe and contradictions. SOME OF THESE FILMS ARE the masterpieces of neorealism: "Ladri di Bicicletta" and "Umberto D" by Vittorio de Sica, "Los Olvidados" by Buñuel and many others.

Costa Gavras doesn't reach this goal. His films are efficient and convey their message to the public, but they lack warmth.

"Le Couperet" is nonetheless an interesting film - a man that works as a chemist loses his job and after 2 years of unemployment decides to kill whoever stands in his way to get another job - so he places an ad of an imaginary enterprise in the newspaper offering a chemist job (his professional area) and rents a post box to read the answers he gets. He reads all the résumés and proceeds to kill all the people that are equal or more qualified than him - so that in the end he'll get the job because he will be the only remaining choice. All the while he will go on living normally with his family. He will suffer emotional crises, his marriage will become strained but no one will suspect anything at all of his alternative activities.

The film, after all, is very entertaining and gives a sad picture of France (and Western Europe I would say), suffering economic crisis and rising doubts. Is it possible with the globalization to maintain a very expensive Social Welfare and have to face a growing economic erosion? In USA (as far as I know), for instance, some unemployed people live on the streets or under the bridges. In France and Western Europe, unemployed people are still taken care of. Till when? Many enterprises are closing or cutting expenses (that means firing people).

Costas Gavras films are good because they make questions about the world in which we live, they make us think, but his films don't really touch me - I would say they provide food for thought but not food for the heart.

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Belgium | France | Spain


French | Dutch

Release Date:

2 March 2005 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ax See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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