Earth and Blood review – heavy artillery action flick runs out of ammo | Thrillers (film)

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Here is a gnarly action-thriller from France with the kind of heavy artillery and paramilitary display that director Julien Leclercq loves. But considering the running time is just 80 minutes, he seems to run out of ideas well before the final credits and the whole thing is wrapped up almost perfunctorily.

The setting is a remote sawmill, which we are led to believe will be the location for a siege. Its owner is Saïd (Sami Bouajila) who lives there with his teen daughter Sarah (Sofia Lesaffre). Perhaps against his better judgement, he has given a job to Yanis (Samy Seghir), a troubled young guy on parole for a minor offence. But Yanis hides a huge stash of cocaine at the mill, that was recently stolen by his half-brother, and soon the implacably ruthless gang boss Adama (Eriq Ebouaney) shows up with his heavily armed crew, wanting his merchandise back.

Now, just as Chekhov said that a gun produced in act one has to be fired in act two … well, what must happen with a lethally sharp rotating sawmill blade produced in act one of an action thriller? Yet, when the inevitable arrives, it isn’t sufficiently ingenious or climactic, and it’s as if Leclercq (and co-screenwriters Jérémie Guez and Matthieu Serveau) haven’t any idea exactly how to play that one. The characters are sketched in too quickly for us to make any real investment in them: the movie stands and falls by its action, and for me it doesn’t have the firepower, despite the deafening gunplay. It feels like the truncated version of a much longer and more thought-through film.

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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Earth and Blood review – heavy artillery action flick runs out of ammo | Thrillers (film)

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