Imagine a father in France learning from his separated wife that his son has been kidnapped from a camp? Guillaume Canet as Julien gets such news and, not satisfied with what the police are doing, he embarks upon his own vindictive search for his son. There’s an added motive—he is trying to make up for the years in which he hasn’t paid enough attention to his role as a father. That’s the set up for the thriller that director Christian Carion unleashes from a screenplay he wrote with Laure Irmann.

The film escalates toward Julien’s discovery of the kidnappers and his violent battle to free seven-year-old Mathys before the boy can be harmed. The confrontations are harrowing, but there’s something not made clear. Why was the boy taken?

The answer seems to lie in that that there is another kidnapped boy being held. This would indicate the thieves, not aiming for Julien’s son in particular, grab lads for profit reasons as their regular operation. Selling them? Using them for pornography? More specifics would help.

But the action boils down to Julien’s ultimate successful, hard won but dangerous battle in the thriller mode. Ultimately, he returns the boy to the woman from whom he is separated, Marie, played by Mélanie Laurent, who has been going with a new boyfriend, portrayed by Olivier de Benoist. A Cohen Media Group release. Reviewed May 10, 2019.

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