‘Sentinelle’ is a French action flick directed and produced by Julien Leclercq, who also co-wrote the screenplay. It was made by Labyrinthe Cinéma and Umedia before being released onto Netflix.
Klara (Olga Kurylenko) is a French Army veteran returning home to Nice, France to live with her mother Maria (Antonia Malinova) and her sister Tania (Marilyn Lima). She suffers from PTSD due to her service in Syria and is addicted to painkillers, jeopardizing her transfer to Opération Sentinelle, a unit that protect “sensitive” zones in France. Sensing her difficulty adjusting to this new role, Tania invites her out for a night on the town. They get separated at a club and the next day, Klara learns her sister has been in a coma following a sexual assault. Though the police have a suspect in Leonid Kadnikov (Michel Nabokoff), he has diplomatic immunity, forcing Klara to take matters into her own hands.
I am not blowing smoke, I liked Olga’s character. She did a good job portraying Klara and being the driving force behind the film. I also appreciate that they did not try to turn her into a Super Mary Sue. The actions she takes are more realistic, allowing her to use other skills besides brute force in order to defeat her opponents.
As for the rest of the cast, you are not really given a chance to get to know them. Olga is virtually in every scene, so she either absorbs your attention or the rest of the cast is so vague you almost question why they are there. The villain, in particular, is completely underdeveloped to the point where you almost forget about him. He is literally just a stock bad guy for Klara to search for. Oh, yeah, and he hates the fact his son is gay. The writers had to get that pandering in.
It is billed as a thriller, but I did not get thrilled once. For one thing, suffers from a lot of issues, particular common ones that I’ve complained about before in European films. Random sex scene for no reason. The complete lack of character development. Confusing and sometimes bizarre themes that then get ignored. Yep, they are all there.
The main issue with the movie is that is feels incredibly rushed with a handful of subplots dropped. For instance, Klara has a tryst with a woman she meets at a bar. This is implied to not just be a one-night stand, but you never see this character again. Likewise, the aforementioned PTSD arc is never given a resolution. Finally, you never know the consequences of the rape, Klara going rogue, or the villain’s son who was originally thought to have perpetuated the crime. As such, the pace moves way too fast with little development outside of Klara’s story-arc, which itself never fully gets fleshed out.
Bottom line, Sentinelle has a good lead, but the story is so fast paced that they did not bother to tie up any of the loose ends.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Sexual content including nudity, Strong foul language, Drug and alcohol abuse, Brutal violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: You’re with us.
Check out the trailer below:
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