The young director Romain Gavras does not reinvent the comic caper in the French film “The World Is Yours,” but he revitalizes that genre with pop verve, goofy humor and visual sophistication. A flamboyant turn from Isabelle Adjani doesn’t hurt either, with the star sending up her own image as an aloof leading lady.
Gavras’s second feature, now streaming on Netflix, “World” starts with a familiar premise: A crook goes for one last job. It’s not long before the plan skids entertainingly out of control.
François (Karim Leklou) is a meek, small-time drug dealer in the Paris suburbs who wants to go straight by securing the North African franchise for a brand of frozen ice pops. Unfortunately, his mother, the brassy swindler Danny (Adjani), gambled away his savings. To earn maximum cash in minimum time, François and his motley crew — including a taciturn conspiracy theorist played by Vincent Cassel — set up a deal in a garish Spanish resort.
Gavras (the son of Costa-Gavras, the Greek-French director of the politically minded thrillers “Z” and “Missing”) made his name with stylishly violent music videos like M.I.A.’s “Born Free.” The mood is considerably lighter here, but Gavras has not lost his sense of composition — he has a particularly good eye for the spatial poetry of tall buildings.
Even with its lean running time, the film gets bogged down in a pileup of zany characters and surreal, burlesque asides. Still, it’s hard to complain when those asides include Oulaya Amamra (“Divines”) charming a roomful of tattooed thugs with a French-accented karaoke rendition of “Africa.”
The World Is Yours
Movie data powered by IMDb.com
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes.
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