Based on a real-life incident—the hijacking of a Paris-bound Air France flight from Algiers on Christmas Eve in 1994—this thriller, directed by Julien Leclercq, remains taut and tense from the first frame to the last. The hijackers, four men claiming membership in the Armed Islamic Group, demand the release of political prisoners in Algeria; in Paris, Carole Jeanton, an official in the French Interior Ministry, suspects that this quartet may have plans to crash the plane into the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, the GIGN, France’s paramilitary police force, rehearses its mission to thwart the terrorist plot. Expertly cutting between the chaos inside the plane, the nail-biting negotiations within government buildings, and the cold precision of the special-ops team at the staging ground, Leclercq also ratchets up the anxiety by including actual footage of the rescue operation, which was broadcast live on French television on December 26. More than 200 passengers were freed during this harrowing firefight, but the mission was not without multiple fatalities.
“The Assault, which builds to an almost unbearably vivid scene in which the assault squad goes to work, is so gripping and focused that it easily bests Hollywood movies with 50 times its budget. Leclercq is that rare French director who may find himself courted by big studios.”
Kyle Smith, New York Post
Simon Moutairou, Julien Leclercq. Based on the book The Assault by Roland Môntins & Gilles Cauture.
Thierry: Vincent Elbaz
Commandant Denis Favier: Grégory Derangère
Carole: Mélanie Bernier
Yahia: Aymen Saidi
RUNNING TIME 95’
PRODUCTION France, 2010
RATING Not Rated
FORMAT(S) Blu-ray, DigiBeta, DVD
KMT Global Films