Recommended by Guy Ritchie, Le Convoyeur AKA Cash Truck is a gritty slow-burner with an ominous atmosphere. As you might know, Ritchie just released a remake of this movie titled Wrath of Man and starring Jason Statham. This prompted me to check out this little-known thriller and here we are. Once you develop a taste for these French crime movies, every one of them will feel like your first and best time combined. The same goes for this mysterious and moody indie masterpiece. We follow Alexandre Demarre, a new employee at the money transport company Vigilante as he slowly starts learning the tricks of the trade. The first part of the movie is meticulous, deliberate, and almost voyeuristic. Mostly because it details the daily routine of cash truck drivers right down to the bone. It felt similar to some procedural thrillers following a murder investigation or a trial.
Cash Truck is a definition of that famous phrase show don’t tell. It revels in this minimalist approach that slowly immerses you into this strange world. I still cannot get over just how much these French crime noir movies can get away with. Surreal sequences that would feel out of place in a different movie fit in nicely here. The lack of any explanation why any of this is happening is really not needed. Above all, because you simply know that things are going to get fucked up at some point. Raw and gritty, this is one of those thrillers that you will remember. It also asks the question of just how many other great European movies are out there. The short answer is many.
Vigilante is a company that transports cash from businesses that other companies don’t want to deal with. They’re located in bad neighborhoods or are simply too much of a hassle, but for Vigilante, this is a niche they love. Alexandre Demarre just got a job with them and is slowly fitting in with the crew. The crew that seems pretty aloof and casual despite robbers hitting their transports three times already this year. All of them are hoping that the Americans are soon going to take over the company. However, soon things will start to get more and more complicated.
I think you should first see Cash Truck and then Wrath of Man. Mainly because the latter is a much bigger movie that will entertain despite you knowing the story. However, I watched them in reverse order and was still blown away by both movies. Of course, I liked the Cash Truck much better, and not just because of its original story and raw atmosphere. This is delightfully dark and a distinctly French movie with superb performances from Albert Dupontel and Jean Dujardin. It doesn’t treat the viewer like an idiot and it’s not pretentious with its storytelling. Something that could have easily happened with this risky approach. There are some elements that seem out of place and unrealistic, but stranger things have happened. Once you know what’s going, things that seemed a bit odd at the start will start making much more sense.
The brooding atmosphere and the grittiness of the story reminded me of another French masterpiece I Stand Alone. Although it doesn’t feature much action it still fucking delivers. So much so that I’m still gathering my courage to watch it again and write a review about it.
Director: Nicolas Boukhrief
Writer: Éric Besnard, Nicolas Boukhrief
Cast: Albert Dupontel, Jean Dujardin, François Berléand, Claude Perron, Julien Boisselier, Philippe Laudenbach