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Review Antigang a.k.a. The Squad (2015): French remake of The Sweeney / Totally unnecessary but adequate!

genre: action, crime

Jean Reno is one of my favourite actors of all time. He can do no wrong with me as he always manages to bring that something extra in whatever movie. Until now.

Don't get me wrong. I still like him but and he is still adequate. But that is all he is. His role is quite passive. He doesn't partake in the action sequences that much which is understandable. He is getting older after all. But he also barely has any dialogue. His character Serge Buren is modeled after Ray Winstone's Jack Regen in The Sweeney (2012) and he was far more talkative and hands on. Luckily for us there is Alban Lenoir (Goal of the Dead) who does most of the ass kicking with style and humour. He doesn't really look like he can bash heads as he seems to be more the joker type but maybe that is one of his tactics to catch his opponents off guard as he slams them down whenever needed. Like The Sweeney there is barely any story. It seems like it is even more simplified. And strangely enough it works as the focus now seems to be totally on the action. The action is choreographed well and exciting. One scene in particular will remind people of the big shootout scene in Heat (1995). Although don't get your hopes up too much it's not that memorable. In the non action scenes it gets painfully obvious that there is not much to the story and the characters. Most of them are caricatures as they act more like a bunch of tugs itching to shoot and punch the bad guys. It is never truly explained why this special squad is needed. But it is implied that their harsher methods seem to be getting results. 

It is a real shame that Jean Reno did not get involved as much as he usually does. Maybe he was going for a cop who is tired of his job. Because most of the time he looks like he is tired (no, not because of his eyes) and does not want to be there. Still thanks to Alban Lenoir there are many comedic moments that compensate the lack of Reno somewhat. I really fail to see why this remake exists. It's a dime in a dozen police actioner barely bringing something fresh to the table. Compared to the Ray Winstone version it is different enough not to get bored. 

My expectations for this film weren't that high. But I can't hide my disappointment for the fact that it lacks the one thing I love about French action movies. The unique style. This one seems to be more a Hollywood flick then a French film. Why? Where is that chauvinism you are so famous for? 

So yes overall it won't feel like an entire waste of time. But that is all I am going to say about it. 

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