It's a fleet, engrossing, familiar drama, a movie that's forever moving.
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Fetishizing the tired tokens of the American gangster movie, The Connection is a slickly styled, overlong pastiche. Yet its denizens have a retro glamour and the soundtrack a shameless literalness that’s rather endearing.
The Connection feels at best like a cover version of the classic American crime films of the 1970s, and at worst like so much glossily mounted karaoke.
A passable French homage to the American crime epic, The Connection has plenty of visual style to go with stock characters.
Without a hair-trigger renegade like Popeye Doyle or a long-awaited De Niro-Pacino showdown at its center, this procedural account, running well over two hours, takes on a certain plodding, obligatory vibe.
From scene to scene The Connection is never less than watchable, although it is also never less than predictable.
While the results inevitably pale in comparison to "The French Connection" — which could be said about virtually every other film currently in release — they do make for an above-average work that offers viewers a new perspective on a familiar story.
Despite the pedestrian screenplay (by Jimenez and Audrey Diwan), Dujardin and Lellouche are magnetic performers who slip easily into their antagonistic roles.
The grace notes in Dujardin’s performance are an important booster for The Connection, which conspicuously lacks the grit and flavor of William Friedkin’s tangentially related The French Connection, and at worst unfolds like Scorsese-lite.
The film feels utterly infatuated by the cop/crook dividing line long-since drawn, if not flogged, by Michael Mann.