This sharp thriller from France didn’t gain much traction in its Stateside theatrical release, but with its fast, glossy look & editing, and writer/director Fred Cavayé’s ultra-clear handling of the quick-step turns in its devious plot, it loses little on DVD. Gilles Lellouche has gritty appeal as the nurse’s aide who becomes an innocent-man-on-the-run after saving the life of an injured murder suspect and then having his pregnant wife kidnapped, while Roschdy Zem is just great as the wounded safe-cracker who alternates as threat & partner to the desperate husband as they try to figure out just who the bad guys are. Cavayé pulls off some great comic reverses & a few plot spins you won’t see coming. And if he doesn’t quite have the directing chops (or budget) to pull off all the action stunts, he gets all the important stuff right and lays on a score of memorable characters before wrapping things up in a dandy hour & a half. There’s even a neat epilogue to cross the ‘T’s and dot the ‘I’s.
DOUBLE-BILL: Roman Polanski’s FRANTIC/’88 plays out a similar Hitchcockian game of suspense with a Paris kidnapping & Harrison Ford as the innocent lamb, though it’s a bit too posh for its own good.