Directed by: #JulienLeclercq
Transferred home after a traumatising combat mission, a trained French soldier uses her lethal skills to hunt down the man who hurt her sister.
Among the many intriguing, exciting and thought-provoking projects on Netflix’s shelves, there are always the few sitting on the topmost shelf out of reach, usually untouched because they simply do not look inviting. Sentinelle is from that shelf. Here we have an action-packed flick that never situates itself and takes the breather is desires; in fact, it doesn’t have the time to, it runs at only an hour and a quarter. This is essentially a French version of Taken, though not as thrilling or clever with its execution. It throws us in with Klara (Olga Kurylenko), with little background and only revenge fuelling her, and propels us on her rampage to find the man who hurt her sister.
Struggling with PTSD, Klara fights her way through the film, both physically and mentally, and while the effects of this are well represented, it isn’t enough to save the character. These are cardboard cutouts with guns. If you’re into that sort of thing, then you will undoubtedly find enjoyment in the chilled drama of Sentinelle; where there’s very little development beyond the cookie cutter vengeful arc and fiery visual effects. Though the story isn’t very invigorating, the cinematography sometimes makes up for it. There are some subtle but stunning shots that are beautifully framed with a cold tone overtop. Supplying the moody broodiness for the cold visual palette is an equally cold score — sure, it’s fairy predictable in nature but it does its job well given the circumstance.
I’ll add that while the action genre is anyone’s pleasure at times, it’s always better when the fighting is creative or just captured in a way that keeps the viewer engaged with little battle fatigue. As Netflix’s Extraction from last year proved; you can afford to lose some story if you get crazy with the action. Sentinelle gets quite tiring way before the final act even comes, which is especially unfortunate given its short runtime. Kurylenko does well with the material she has, but it can’t save the sloppy narration and monotonous set pieces, or her character.
Sentinelle takes us on a ride to sweet revenge, it’s just not a very satisfying ride. Perhaps this should stay on that top shelf, out of reach.
Sentinelle is now streaming on Netflix.