If you’ve been following Rabbit Reviews movie recommendations you might’ve noticed that I have a thing for French movies. AKA is an excellent action thriller following a special ops guy who has to infiltrate a dangerous gang to catch an even more dangerous terrorist. Featuring superb production values, exciting action sequences and great acting, AKA is definitely a movie worth watching. I know it’s kind of hard to find these hidden gems while browsing the immense Netflix catalog but the effort does pay off in the end. Or you can just visit this site from time to time. Just saying.
The star of AKA is Alban Lenoir, who you might remember from Lost Bullet and Goal of the Dead. He’s become a true action star during these past few years and I can’t wait to check him out in his next movie The Wages of Fear. It’s a remake of the cult classic of the same name from 1953. However, I much prefer the Friedkin’s Sorcerer, a nail-biting masterpiece starring Roy Scheider. Opposite of Alban we have the French football legend Eric Cantona who gave a surprisingly good performance as the mafia boss.
After a furious opening scene, AKA settles into a bit slower pacing. It meticulously develops its characters making the confrontations that are about to follow much more potent. This is a multi-layered movie exploring many different topics. Corruption, terrorism, crime, and the lives of everyone involved come to a head in one hell of a finale. You’ll hardly notice that this is also an undercover cop movie. Mostly because the main story is similar to the one in Man on Fire. Although the running time is exactly two hours long, you won’t notice it. The pacing is just right and each 20 minutes we get another great action scene. There will be enough brawls, chases, and shootouts to satisfy all action fans.
Adam Franco is a highly skilled and experienced operative working undercover in Tunisia. After successfully completing his last mission, he has to go back to France. A dangerous terrorist is planning an attack that could claim the lives of thousands of people. And the police cannot find him. Their only lead is a ruthless crime boss Victor Pastore who seems to know where he is. So now Adam has only days to infiltrate his gang and find out where he’s hiding…
To those who are used to watching classic American thrillers, AKA might be a refreshing surprise. Everybody constantly smokes, kids get shot point blank in the head and all the characters are shady. I mean, our French Jason Statham makes some questionable choices during the first couple of minutes. All of this makes the movie more impactful and realistic. And juicy, it makes the movie juicier. And if you’re craving these gritty and raw, almost noir movies, you’re going to love this one.
However, the thing I loved the most in the movie AKA was the main story. Writers Morgan S. Dalibert and Alban Lenoir bravely took the plot in the right direction, trying to paint a realistic and sobering picture of several modern issues. I don’t want to spoil anything so you’ll have to see the movie to get what I’m talking about. Also, as in almost all French movies, all the men are ugly and all the women are exceptionally beautiful. Finally, since the story features a terrorist subplot, you might want to check out Novembre, a slower and bit messier French thriller based on true events.
Director: Morgan S. Dalibert
Writers: Morgan S. Dalibert, Alban Lenoir
Cast: Alban Lenoir, Eric Cantona, Thibault de Montalembert, Saïdou Camara, Kevin Layne
Fun Facts: Alban Lenoir spent three months preparing for his role. During that time, he was not only working out but also honing his skills in boxing and martial arts. And it fucking shows, the man is a unit.