The Assault

2010 [FRENCH]

Action / History / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
805.05 MB
French 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S 11 / 56
1.61 GB
French 5.1
25 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S 18 / 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL10 / 10

A Nutshell Review: The Assault

USA has her SWAT, Japan has her Security Police, Brazil has her BOPE featured in Elite Squad, and as far as special police teams go, the French has got her GIGN (Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) making it onto the big screen, and what more than to introduce them via a true, high profile aircraft hijacking of an Air France Airbus 300 plane in the year 1994 involving the supposed attempt of using a fuel laden aircraft as a missile targeted against a major city landmark, a chilling 7 years before a terrorist group managed to carry out this dastardly act on the soil of USA.

Those of us who had grown up playing the first person shooter game Counter-strike will be no strangers to the uniform of the GIGN, since it is one of the four outfits that you can select on your character profile if you choose to be on the side of the counter-terrorists. Director Julien Leclercq paid close attention to detail and began with literally a big bang to showcase the capabilities of the GIGN troopers, before saving up the real deal for the extended final act. But that's not to say that the film is a boring ride. On the contrary, Leclercq crafted a gripping tale that moves, probes and examines very quickly how things get to spiral out of control until the inevitable outcome, expertly handling three separate narrative threads running concurrently before finally converging into the titular battle onboard the narrow confines of an aircraft.

The first naturally comes from the perpetrators, the terrorists, their thought process and ruthless action in causing mass panic and fear to further their political cause. Here it's the GIA out to free two of their comrades in Algeria, or so it seems, and had taken an Air France plane at the airport as leverage. But the second thread, focused on Mélanie Bernier's Foreign Ministry analyst Carole in a very Jack Ryan-esque role whose research, insights and gut feel points to a very different strategy and objective adopted by the hijackers, and has to cut through the usual red tape in the administration to push her points through, at times too direct that it irks the brass. And the last narrative thread paints a rather personal picture of GIGN trooper Thierry (Vincent Elbaz),personifying the issues and concerns of those who put their lives on the line to protect strangers, at the risk of upsetting and disappointing their own family members even, who cannot reconcile why they do what they do.

Technically, the film has fantastically strained its colour palette, making it very close to black and white, which I thought suited it fine since it's actually loosely referencing events from history (with the dramatic license for it too I hope) like a documentary, akin to accessing vague memory banks or like watching a news reel unspool - some of the clips that the characters watch from television were the real deal at the time. Then there is the choice of adopting the shaky cam. Now I'm not a proponent for this camera technique because more often than not it gets exploited by the filmmakers to cover up flaws in their work, and am finding it tiring as an audience to try and follow events on screen when the camera moves about almost all the time. It's not to say it cannot be used, because The Assault did it nicely that fit the narrative well, transmitting that sense of urgency and constant danger, helped by a pulsating soundtrack by Jean-Jacques Hertz and Francois Roy.

What made this film excel amongst its peers are the sensitive stories and characters involved in a life and death situation, with viewpoints presenting both in macro and micro terms, the latter allowing you to feel for the characters since it's set up very carefully to allow for empathy. Leclercq does not pull his punches in vilifying the evil doers, with powerful scenes both to evoke a sense of hatred for the senseless violence they preach, and in one potent scene involving a terrorist having to face up to his parents, allowed that slight sliver of sympathy that they are but pawns manipulated by others. It's a little pity though that the socio-political context of the incident isn't covered in the film in detail which may leave some perplexed, and while it may rob The Assault of its pace, may probably enhance the viewer's understanding of the conflict that existed.

As far as police thrillers go, The Assault scores high on both action and drama, providing that unique combination very rarely seen in action films, that allows you to feel for the characters, and appreciate the unenviable task of the special forces in the respective countries constantly training and prepping to deter any would be aggressors, but when the time calls for it, to swing into action unflinchingly. Tactics and weapons on display in the film also provides ample fuel for fruitful post screening discussions. Definitely one of my favourite films this year!

Reviewed by kosmasp6 / 10


Every nation has their special police/squad team. So do the french as you can see in this movie that is based on a real event that occurred in 1994. Something is going down (no pun intended),which the french police tries to stop. Of course this can be eerie, especially because you will think of another event that happened a few years later elsewhere. While no real connection is made, you can sort of feel it.

What makes this stick out, is the fact, that there are quite a few good action set pieces and a real character development amongst our characters. While I haven't checked upon how close this is to what happened originally, I can tell you that this is tension filled stuff indeed.

Reviewed by raymond-andre8 / 10

Not an American approach to the subject

Tight little movie based on the real events. Other reviewers above have expressed frustration at the slow tempo, lack of story context and budget.

First: The approach is very french in that you are expected to know some of the political context in which the story takes place. I have found that most of the people from France I know actually read newspapers, magazines and books and have a good grasp of both their history and current political affairs. Sadly, many Americans get their news exclusively from Fox.

The tangled and complex relationship between France and Algiers where the story begins would seem a mystery to North Americans, but (I would surmise) makes perfect sense to a french resident. The inept, corrupt mismanagement of the french government in this affair would also come as no shock to someone brought up in France and would need very little explaining to its native audience.

Secondly: The most expensive french film ever made could never rival an American super production. To its credit this film doesn't really try. It really doesn't need MORE and BIGGER explosions (especially when there were none during the actual event) to make its point. There is a lesson here for certain American producers.

THIRDLY: The cinematography, down tempo music score and tempo are obviously meant to create a bleak, depressing atmosphere.

In one of the first sequences, the French officer (Thierry) breaks in to a hostage situation and shoots the armed suspect only to find a woman hostage dead and a boy standing near her. He has arrived too late. He and the boy exchange a long look. I think we are meant to understand that the grim reality of his job is that these situations do not often turn out well.

This early scene sets the tone for the rest of the film, but also frames the ending, where, lying in a pool of his own blood, Thierry looks over and exchanges a very long look with one of the female hostages. The moment is not overdone. She doesn't crawl over to hold his hand or mouth a thank-you or anything. It is understood. Here is a man who sacrificed himself to obtain her freedom.

The film makers deliberately stretch out Thierry's agony, not revealing whether he lived or died all through the final shootout and all the way through to just before the credits. This was very well done.

Many French film makers have a different approach to what has become just another sub genre in American action films. This is something to be applauded all the more so because American film makers are no longer allowed to make these kinds of films.

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