Starring Daniel Auteuil, Gérard Depardieu and Valéria Golino, Olivier Marchal's 36 is unquestionably the most stylish and melodramatic crime thriller since Infernal Affairs (see hilarious spoof below).
It's hard to describe the set-up without spoiling it, but essentially it is the story of two cops that operate by their own rulebook chasing both a violent gang of robbers and the soon to be vacant job of their boss. Auteuil's character Vrinks is married to a beautiful doctor who would appear to have been his former chum and now rival's girlfriend. Both men are prepared to take extraordinary risks to land the arrest and although it seems that Depardieu's Klein has screwed up first, he has a nasty surprise in store for Vrinks. Who does bottled-up, wounded masculinity better than Auteuil?
Just when it looked to be ramping up to an operatic Hong Kong style climax, Marchal delivers the twist that is exactly the denouement that this story requires. Superb.
And now for the funny stuff:
Update: Watching the extras I discovered that Marchal was himself an anti-terror policeman and that everything up to the moment Vrinks is released is effectively a true story. He admits though that he chose to make an 'urban western' which might have compromised the level of realism somewhat!