- 1h 40m
In France, terrorist groups and intelligence agencies battle in a merciless war everyday, in the name of radically opposed ideologies. Yet, terrorist and secret agents lead almost the same l... Read allIn France, terrorist groups and intelligence agencies battle in a merciless war everyday, in the name of radically opposed ideologies. Yet, terrorist and secret agents lead almost the same lives. Condemned to secrecy, these masters of manipulation follow the same methods. Alex an... Read allIn France, terrorist groups and intelligence agencies battle in a merciless war everyday, in the name of radically opposed ideologies. Yet, terrorist and secret agents lead almost the same lives. Condemned to secrecy, these masters of manipulation follow the same methods. Alex and Al Barad are two of them. The former is the head of the D.G.S.E.'s (Direction Générale d... Read all
Why is SECRET DEFENSE so worthy of our attention? First, the storyline is properly well written, simple and plausible rather than far fetched to exaggerated improbabilities for the sole objective of cinematic roller coasting attempts too often seen in this genre. That makes it more believable and interesting. The counseling from renowned French and Oriental experts on this topic was wise, mostly followed and thus effective. There are not that many features on our former DGSE and I praise the production for not going in the James Bond direction but more in the MI5 one. Although one true fan might ask when are we at last gonna see and show how intelligence work can mostly be truly boring or spooky and inhumane? But we're getting in that direction here, right from the beginning when Lanvin introduces himself in saying that an agent must be seen as a weapon only and never as a human.
The final editing is properly paced with no unnecessary elements making the movie properly entertaining and interesting.
Then, the visual directing is OK+ with some cinematographic effects worthy of a big screen release. That is becoming rare.
The excellent beginning credits are Oscar worthy!!
Then the actors directions is not questionable. Gérard Lanvin (lead actor) is perfect as always. Second & third characters are never playing out of tune. That is remarkable in France where even lead actors can sometimes, way too often, be left directed out of tune in the final editing. That is a torture to my hear as much as a bad singer. And I'm not even mentioning second characters that often sound worst than imaginable, worst that the worst liar. Not here.
Vahina Giocante (lead actress) is also very well directed and surprising when she (quite often) manages to make us forget her exquisite beauty and discover her effective tormented face full of emotions that then becomes not only pretty but efficiently emotive, in the Charlize Theron direction. And like Charlize, she has the highly saluted courage of not fearing to not pass over the best primal parts of her, her very beautiful body in the nude and bare butt. And that makes sense to show them since the story uses her beauty as a "weapon, that only is an agent" (dixit Lanvin). A bit too rarely here but more could indeed unfortunately have affected the nature of her performance in the movie. Thanks Vahina.
Overall, All this makes SECRET DEFENSE a very honorable or good French Film, one of its best made in the last decade in the entertaining with a substance spy action genre. So watch it and prove otherwise if you don't agree.
- Jul 8, 2009