If you’re looking for a solid timekiller, the thriller Restless is a good choice. And not just because it’s available on Netflix. It’s a remake of the South Korean movie A Hard Day with a French twist. As you probably know by now, I love these French movies about corrupt cops and criminals with a heart. They have a special atmosphere and they take themselves very seriously. Something that came off as almost comical in Restless.
We will be following a corrupt cop who accidentally fucks up one night and then has to work hard to cover up what he’s done. The movie is full of mystery and tension as the situations start to get increasingly complicated. Every fifteen minutes there’s a new twist or an intense scene of Thomas trying to get out of an awkward situation. Some of them were truly at-the-edge-of-your-seat scenes that make you feel uncomfortable and excited at the same time.
Now, the characters are mostly unlikable and it doesn’t help that Franck Gastambide playing the lead has just a few facial expressions. However, this also means that you can watch Restless from a comfortable distance. It will be just another movie playing in the background and every once in a while there will be a scene that will pique your interest. And before you know it, its ninety-minute runtime will be over.
Internal Affairs are on their way to inspect the premises of a police station suspecting they will find something illegal there. They have been investigating Thomas and his colleagues for some time now after all. At the same time, Thomas is trying to make it to the station before them. You see, he has something in his locker, something that will put him behind bars for a long time. However, this is just the beginning of his troubles.
Restless is one of those movies you watch after a hard day at work when you don’t want something that requires too much effort. I also have to mention that I really didn’t like Thomas talking to himself. It was like what are you guys doing? Show, don’t tell! I remember watching the South Korean original a couple of years and giving up after one such scene. At least they were faithful to the source material.
The production values were good and Restless AKA Sans Repit looks good. It uses that sleek French thriller cinematography style that I love so much. Check out Rogue City or Lost Bullet for more of the same. The best thing about this movie is the exciting story that keeps raising the stakes. This means that by the time you realize this isn’t a masterpiece you would kind of want to know how the movie is going to end. If you’re looking for a more engaging storytelling do take a look at Sleepless Night, a much better French thriller about another corrupt cop in over his head.
Director: Régis Blondeau
Writers: Julien Colombani, Régis Blondeau, Seong Hun Kim
Fun Facts: Just like in the USA, France has a couple of branches of law enforcement agencies. Gendarmeria Nationale and the regular police forces are oftentimes arguing, just like the FBI and detectives in the USA.