By Woojung Kim, Staff Writer
Seven men drive four cars and attempt to transport 1,300 kilos of cannabis out of
Malaga, Spain into Creli, a city outside Paris. But because of the illegal nature of their activities, the journey becomes difficult to complete. One of the men, Majid (Foed Amara) is shot and killed, trying to escape from the police roadblock. His partner, Elyes (Mahdi Belemlih), is shot in the arm and takes a woman, Nadia (Reem Kherici), hostage and forces her to drive. While the rest of the men continue their dangerous expedition, Alex (Benoit Magimel) joins Elyes and Nadia and the group pursue an escape. However, they end up encountering a rival gang and after seemingly endless violent shootings, casualties occur and the police gets involved.
This is the story of Frederic Schoendoerffer’s new film, “Fast Convoy.” A master of the French thriller genre, Schoendoerffer teams up with notable actor Benoit Magimel, of “The Piano Teacher” fame, to produce this gripping action film.
The way that Schoendoerffer illustrates the thrilling chase is impressive: most of the scenes are set in a car, which limits the space for experimentation, but Schoendoerffer manages to peak viewers’ interests. However, this is only exhibited in the beginning of the film. As Alex and Nadia’s personal lives are explored, the tension is reduced. Nadia’s role as a character is particularly significant as the film shows how violence corrupts a seemingly naive woman.
The acting of the six lead men is flawless, given that many of them are stunt actors. However, each character is not distinctly developed, eventually making the audience question what their role and significance in the film is. Had the characters been fleshed out and provided the viewers with a reason to sympathize with them, “Fast Convoy” would have greatly benefited in its narrative.
Despite these flaws, the aesthetics of the film allow the audience to recognize Schoendoerffer’s attempts to create a vital visual atmosphere. In the beginning of the film, the general tone of the screen is yellow. When the fight with the rival gang ensues, the yellowness is toned down and the color of the screen emphasizes the redness of the blood. After Alex and Nadia escape from the commotion, the screen turns to the tone of blue, creating a gloomy atmosphere, which allows the audience to predict the pair’s inevitable capture by the police.
Though “Fast Convoy” could have been improved with more character development, its nuanced atmosphere and exciting chase scenes reel the viewer in and showcase exactly why Schoendoerffer is deemed a master of the thriller genre.
“Fast Convoy” will be released on VOD on Tuesday, Dec. 5.