Tueurs 2017 Movie Scene One of the robbers shooting bystanders after the robbery

Tueurs AKA Above The Law [2017]

If you’re looking for that special brand of French crime movies, dark and brooding, you’ve just found a great specimen. Tueurs (Killers in English) is a Belgium/French coproduction following an ill-fated bank robbery and its aftermath. The opening scene is one of the most gripping and brutal depictions of a bank robbery I have ever seen on film. It caught me by surprise and from that moment on, I was hooked. After this, we will go back in time to witness the planning and execution of the robbery. This part reminded me of Heat, another great heist movie. And it’s rather chunky, taking up more than a third of an already short running time. 

Once this is over, we will start realizing that there’s more to this robbery than meets the eye. This is where Tueurs starts becoming more of a conspiracy thriller, using the heist angle as a nice lure. You should know that it’s inspired by a string of real crimes that happened in the Belgian province of Brabant between 1982 and 1985. There are all sorts of conspiracy theories around this case, involving government officials, secret services, and other actors. If you want to know more, I suggest you start with this article about the Brabant Killers.

And while the action sequences were masterfully directed and written, Tueurs AKA Above The Law struggled with the conspiracy angle. It’s like they knew what they wanted to know, they just didn’t know how to make it happen in a believable way. So, don’t be surprised if some of the scenes or dialogue feel a bit forced or contrived. However, what remained a constant is this thick and intense atmosphere. It envelops every scene making it feel realistic and gritty. The lack of any melodrama and the sheer brutality of the events will make up for any flaws this movie has. And the production values are excellent.

Judge Veronique Pirotte is just another one of the victims of a vicious gang of bank robbers. After an elaborate heist planned to the smallest detail, they are now in hiding. However, police forces led by inspectors Tesla and Bouvy are on their trail. And they are getting closer and closer…

If this is your first European crime movie, you’re in for a treat because there are loads of them. And almost all of them are excellent. If you’re looking for something similar to Tueurs, I recommend you check out Nokas, a Norwegian heist movie based on true events. It’s just as pacey as this one but with even more action. And a bit longer as the movie we’re talking about today has a running time of just eighty minutes. You kind of wish they’d added at least thirty minutes of character development and exposition. 

I love movies like Tueurs. They dare to ask difficult questions in a world where such a thing seems rather dangerous. Just ask Assange or Snowden for further proof. And if you don’t want to dig that deep you can just sit back and enjoy the grim atmosphere or the action. The cast was excellently led by experienced Olivier Gourmet as Frank Valken. However, Lubna Azabal stole the show for me as Tesla.

Director: Jean-François Hensgens, François Troukens

Writers: François Troukens, Giordano Gederlini

Cast: Olivier Gourmet, Lubna Azabal, Kevin Janssens, Bouli Lanners, Natacha Régnier

Fun Facts: One of the writers of Tueurs is a former bank robber François Troukens. He also broke out of prison on several occasions and this is why these parts of the movie feel so authentic.


IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6901252/

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