If you like action movies, chances are you’re going to love AKA (2023), a new action thriller from France which premiered on Netflix this weekend.
I gotta say, one of my favorite parts about Netflix these days is their promotion of international films. There are a lot of movies premiering on the streaming service that aren’t available at theaters, and in recent months they have showcased some outstanding movies from countries like Thailand, South Korea, and Norway, to cite just a few.
Their latest is AKA, an action flick from France about a special ops agent named Adam (Alban Lenoir) who is called in to infiltrate a mobster’s organization in order to learn the whereabouts of a terrorist in hiding who is intent on wreaking havoc in France. The terrorist is friends with the mobster, and the French government knows the mobster is hiding him. Adam’s mission is to find the terrorist and eliminate him.
Adam is reminiscent of Jason Bourne, only without the memory loss. He’s a killing machine, and it doesn’t take him long to win over the mobster, Victor Pastore (Eric Cantona) and be invited to join his security team. Adam also connects with Victor’s young son, who looks up to Adam, and Adam is sympathetic to children because as a youth some horrible things happened to his brother, and Adam murdered the man responsible, an event which led to Adam being recruited by the French government at a very young age.
The story told in AKA is really secondary. Adam’s search for the terrorist is mildly interesting, and towards the end, there is one twist too many, but none of this affects the quality of the movie all that much, because what makes this one so entertaining are its action scenes.
The movie opens in dramatic fashion as we see Adam single-handedly “rescue” a female hostage in the middle east, taking out an army of guards, but rather than free her, he shoots her dead. He’s a cold-blooded killer and pretty much unstoppable. He’s also a good guy, and as the movie goes along his loyalties are aimed more towards good people than his superiors. The action sequences are second to none, and well done by director Morgan S. Dalibert.
Alban Lenoir is quite good in the lead as Adam, the unstoppable assassin. He’s got a quiet Arnold Schwarzenegger vibe going throughout. He’s in most of the movie, and he is able to drive this one along. Lenoir also reminded me a little bit of Alan Ritchson, who plays Jack Reacher on the excellent TV show REACHER (2022). He effortlessly makes Adam a larger-than-life action hero.
The entire cast in this one is commendable, and there are fine performances by everyone involved.
Lenoir also co-wrote the screenplay with director Morgan S. Dalibert. As I said, the story told in this one plays second fiddle to the action sequences, but it’s still a decent story which held my interest throughout. The dialogue is strong, the characters well-defined, and other than a “one-twist-too many” ending which falls into the government is really a bunch of crooked bastards category, it’s a good script. It supports the action well.
As a result, I had fun with AKA, and I give it an enthusiastic three stars.
Four stars – Perfect, Top of the line
Three and a half stars- Excellent
Three stars – Very Good
Two and a half stars – Good
Two Stars – Fair
One and a half stars – Pretty Weak
One star- Poor
Zero stars – Awful