Fast Convoy (2016)
original title: Le Convoi
Director: Frederic Schoendoerffer
Cast: Benoit Magimel, Reem Kherici, Tewfik Jallab, Mahdi Belemlih, Amir El Kacem, Leon Garel, Sofian Khammes, Foed Amara
A “go fast” convoy shipping a ton of cannabis Malaga in southern Spain is disrupted following a shoot out that results in the kidnapping of a tourist. – IMDB
Fast Convoy is a French action thriller that takes us on a road trip along side a 4 car convoy containing 7 men as they traverse from Spain to France in hopes of delivering the drugs to the Mahmoudis. With an array of different characters and a situation that quickly takes a turn for the worse after a well executed setup, this thriller keeps its intensity for the majority of the ride however its ending does leave a little to be desired alongside a somewhat convoluted plot.
Fast Convoy excels in several aspects. Its score is incredibly suitable for the thriller. Used in various parts, it gives a combined feeling of a James Bond film and Speed film. It creates a sense of adventure simply with the score itself. Paired up with the hues used for their cinematography and the winding roads and locations, it is beautifully mesmerizing to be on this dangerous road trip even if it focuses more on the convoy. The cars focused here are also very nice which gives the chase scenes a lot of presence as the characters speed down the highway to their destination. This thriller is best looked at in three parts. Its first gives the audience an idea of the men involved in this business over the three cars cleverly switched over with their phone calls with each other highlighting not only their conflict but their personality as it often resulted into petty conversation which is often the comedic relief needed to cut the intensity that slowly builds not only between its characters but the situation. This leads to the second part where the bulk of the thriller is felt with the action and thrills truly take place between the cars as they aim to resolve the problem and get everyone and of course their expensive cargo to their destination and the team starts having their split views and worries about what is going to happen. Finally, the third part unfolds and pieces together the plot the whole time with the intensified final escape. The structure here works very well, in fact building the intrigue is what Fast Convoy does very well. The plot progresses at a decent pace however where it falls flat is how it chooses to wrap it up rendering the film slightly convoluted.
The strength of the film lies heavily on the characters of the seven men in the convoy. The cast here does an outstanding job in portraying the colors of the characters as each of their personalities vary and the pairings in these cars work to not only add some humor but through their conversations endear the audience to them. Some may appeal more than others but that is how it should be so that when the finale rolls in, there is someone that the audience is rooting for. While only playing the mysterious backup man Alex, Benoit Magimel is absolutely the standout role here with possibly the most experience in this cast as well. He brings the style and the action despite not having a lot of dialogue but still showing how clever he is. In the other cars, the leader Imad (Tewfik Jallab) is paired up with a clueless driver Reda (Sofian Khammes) who dives into the somewhat sillier questions, for example engaging in a discussion about why there are grenades in their trunk and not in the front to help surprise attack anyone if needed which turns into a memorable hilarious moment. On the other hand, the other car carries two men who clearly have the banter dialogue set for them. Yacine (Amir El Kacem) and Remi (Leon Garel) both are charming to watch as they seem in the most casual situation but also the most opposite in personality as their petty chat makes it feel unnecessary. While the film focuses on these seven men, they also add in an extra piece of the equation with seems a little unnecessary as the film progresses which has the right intention but not the perfect execution as they focus on talking about kidnapping a woman, Nadia (Reem Kherici) who does next to nothing in the film making her role rather pointless with the exception of a few parts.
Overall, Fast Convoy does a great job at executing an intense and gripping story that starts off with a great set-up and ramps up the pace as it goes along complimented by a great score to build the mood. The cast does an outstanding job of portraying its characters which each have their unique personality to make this convoy feel complete especially Benoit Magimel who delivers through and through. It uses casual conversation to build these characters cleverly but also not waiting too long to keep the action and thrills rolling in fast. Its main downfall is its lacklustre ending. However, Fast Convoy does offer up a great time with style and fast-paced action and for that, its well worth a watch.
Opening on VOD in US & CANADA Nationwide on Tuesday, December 5 on all major platforms including iTunes, Sony, Google Play, Amazon, Microsoft, Vudu, Comcast, Charter, Cox, Vimeo, and various other cable operators.