Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Director: William Friedkin
Running Time: 104 mins
The French Connection is an American film about two New York City cops who uncover a huge drug smuggling connection between heroin labs in Marseilles and dealers in New York, so they set out to bring the perpetrators to justice before a major deal goes through between the criminals.
This film is a hell of a lot of fun! It’s jam-packed with some absolutely epic action sequences, great tension and cool chase scenes, but it’s also a very intelligent film, with a well-plotted story working well with a very interesting central character, who really drives your intrigue in the film.
I’ll start with the best thing about this film, which I thought was the action. Although it may take a little time to get going with the story, once the action takes hold in this film, everything is turned up to eleven, with faster pacing and higher stakes that turn it into a really exciting watch.
The fact is that this film is full of great gun battles as well as intense car/foot chases, and it’s really difficult to take your eyes off of the screen because they’re so fun, but also because you know that the stakes are so high, seeing as the plot is very well fleshed out and our hero isn’t the strongest guy in the world.
In fact, the main character in this film, played brilliantly by Gene Hackman, is an absolutely brilliant action hero – he’s a cool, clever cop, but you also see how flawed he is: often getting drunk while on the job, making really bad decisions from time to time, but it’s those weaknesses that make him all the more easy to care about, which is what makes some of the more perilous action sequences so much more tense.
In terms of the plot, I thought it was very intelligent and interesting. I’d still put it third behind the action and the characters as the best part of the film, because it’s often a little bit drawn-out, clichéd or predictable, however on the whole, it’s a very well-written adaptation of what is amazingly a true-ish story.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.7, because of its brilliant action, fantastic tension, realistic main character and largely intriguing story.