Actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz, who shot to fame with his 1995 debut, La Haine, returns with a solid but overlong hostage thriller based on true events.
Kassovitz plays Philippe Legorjus, captain of an elite counter-terrorist unit posted to the island colony of New Caledonia. Kanak separatists have killed four gendarmes and taken a further 30 hostage.
Legorjus wants a peaceful solution, but gets caught in a hole trying to negotiate with both the rebels and the French army; meanwhile, his political masters back in Paris, facing an election, want a swift result.
It's a very talky film, and points are reiterated needlessly; the end titles, offering a postscript, are better suited to the lecture theatre. It's intelligent and indignant, all the same, and would have benefited from keeping its resonant French title, L'Ordre et La Morale.