Overdose // By Olivier Marchal. With Sofia Essaïdi, Assaad Bouab and Alberto Ammann.
Olivier Marchal dedicates Overdose to Jean-Paul Belmondo, a little epic Cop or Thug, but without having the adage and the cult of a film with Belmondo. The man who made a name for himself with Les Lyonnais (2011) and the Braquo series (Canal+) has constantly repeated his own narrative patterns over the course of his films without managing to reconnect with the spirit of the film that really put the spotlight on it. His previous film, Bronx (Netflix) was not an example of success but it had the merit of being correct at times. With Overdose (Amazon Prime), he adapts a cop novel but does nothing surprising about it. We find all the clichés of Marchal’s cinema, from the bold dialogues (“He must be sucked by a whore”) to the purring staging of his incessant shootings. Overdose demonstrates especially by his name as by his story that Papa Marchal has nothing more to say about the field of banditry that he himself experienced when he was a cop.
Sara, head of the narcotics squad of the Toulouse police, investigates a go-fast between Spain and France, in which her former lover, Raynal, is infiltrated. She quickly discovers that her case is linked to the murder of two teenagers in a Parisian hospital, which Richard, the head of the local criminal police, is in charge of. Forced to work together to find the murderer and stop the go-fast, Sara and Richard find themselves thrust into a breathless race against time on the roads of Spain and France as their attraction to each other grows.
Overdose is an action thriller that still keeps the viewer’s attention artificially thanks to a whole bunch of muscular action sequences. Anyone can die and get shot, have their tongue cut out, their ears cut out, their eyes gouged out. In the escalation, at the limit of torture-porn (but often off-screen or off-camera so as not to rush the viewer), Overdose is never more than an “overdose” of a whole bunch of stuff that makes the director’s cinema . The characters are all caricatures of themselves, the action scenes repeat and resemble each other while the twists and turns meant to renew our interest turn out to be mostly artifice. I wasn’t expecting a great film from Overdose, but at least a thriller that was a little better controlled than what it offered in Bronx (which had been bought by Netflix last year). So we have guns that fart, people who fart, dialogues that smell of fart. Nothing more, a slice of greasy charcuterie dripping from a not always appetizing sandwich.
Rating: 3.5/10. In short, an action thriller which has its moments but which repeats all the patterns of Olivier Marchal’s cinema which seems really tired.
Available on Amazon Prime Video