You know the moment in the ‘one man against many’ film where out hero pauses for a second? Then a pompous rock song starts in the background and he stirs into action, suddenly impelled to ‘tool up’ with as many weapons and explosives as his immense frame can carry before moving on to take on insurmountable odds.
Commando did it best. Actually Arnie did it best period.
Well consider the first 35 minutes of French film The Nest as perhaps the longest ‘tooling up’ montage in cinema history. There is minimal dialogue and plot exposition, just a lot of well equipped people gearing up and getting ready.
Then just as we wonder why we are bothering to watch the warm up, we learn most if what we need to know in one fell swoop.
There are three main parties, the first being a special forces team charged with transporting an Albanian mob boss to face trial, the second being a faceless group of heavily armed (and eminently replaceable) bad guys who want their boss emancipated by any means. The third group is unwittingly embroiled in proceedings, they are simply a bunch of guys n gals dressed as if on the way to a breakdancing face off, only moments before they were actually robbing an empty warehouse.
That is until the cops take their damaged vehicle into the very same empty warehouse in search of cover. Awkward! But not for too long, because scant seconds later both sets of nervous (ware) house-mates are set upon by the fiendish Albanian mercenaries.
Safety in numbers right? The cops and robbers are left with little choice but to begrudgingly join forces. In their uneasy alliance they gradually learn a little about each other, while those on the outside remain a little more mysterious, only appearing to be taken down one at a time in a seemingly endless supply of invading bodies, bloodpacks and explosions.
With no ‘known’ cast members the film cannily plays no favourites, with any character potentially being the next to be taken out. There are a few decent action sequences and some effective stunts, but nothing that will have you considering turfing your John Woo DVDs.
The Nest is a simple yet well crafted mindless action film. In reality all it lacks is a memorable hero or heroine and a couple of ‘wow’ moments and it might be vying for attention among the American action flicks released each year.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. A French entry into the bulletic-ballet market, and not an awful nor especially meritorious one.