The Assault

Director: Julien Leclercq

Cast: Julien Leclercq, Vincent Elbaz, Grégori Derangère, Mélanie Bernier


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Julien Leclercq examines a terrorist plot from several points of view in this tense thriller based on a true story. In late December 1994, an airliner took off from Algeria bound for Paris, but once the plane was in the air, it became clear this would not be an ordinary flight. Members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, led by Yahia


Julien Leclercq examines a terrorist plot from several points of view in this tense thriller based on a true story. In late December 1994, an airliner took off from Algeria bound for Paris, but once the plane was in the air, it became clear this would not be an ordinary flight. Members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, led by Yahia (Aymen Saidi), were onboard, and they took over the jet in order to stage an attack on the Eiffel Tower. Negotiators were able to arrange for the plane to land in Marseille for fuel, and the hijackers were met by French Special Forces operatives who were determined to save the hostages and take down the terrorists. L'Assaut (aka The Assault) examines the hijacking and the raid on the jet from three perspectives -- Yahia, Thierry (Vincent Elbaz), one of the policemen taking part in the raid, and Carole (Mélanie Bernier), a low-level Ministry of the Interior employee who believes her language skills will give her a chance to shine in the crisis. The Assault received its U.S. debut at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Based on actual events, director Julien Leclercq's thriller The Assault is an uneasy mix of docudrama realism and over-edited action set pieces that ends up suffering most from a subpar script. The movie opens on Thierry (Vincent Elbaz), a French special-forces soldier attempting to resolve a domestic dispute that has snowballed into a shooting. After this, we learn that his wife wants him to quit working such a dangerous job. But that doesn't stop Thierry from following orders to rescue the hostages on a hijacked French plane that's been commandeered by Muslim terrorists. Leclercq cuts between three main strands of action: the rescue team's preparations to storm the plane, the hijackers on the aircraft, and the attempts by Carole (Melanie Bernier), a French security official, to figure out who is really behind the attack and the best way to address the problem. As the final confrontation gets under way, television news broadcasts the raid live, much to the horror of Thierry's wife. The Assault works best as a straightforward docudrama. Carole's labyrinthine journey through the highest levels of power and international criminals is as compelling as similar sequences in Paul Greengrass' United 93, in which officials worked as quickly as possible to figure out exactly what was going on. In addition, Elbaz has a fantastic face -- haunted and tired, but strong. His presence humanizes a character that's short on any actual development. Sadly, the final confrontation is edited with no feel at all for cinematic space. We get a sense of chaos and disorder, but that doesn't fit with the commandos' careful preparation before their attempt to take the grounded plane back from the terrorists. Leclercq does edit real footage from the incident into the movie, which is a very savvy decision, and the execution refutes any charge of sensationalism. However, on the downside, there's a gratuitous shot of Thierry's wife in tears that makes us assume something that turns out to be false. If the film had more confidence, it wouldn't need to resort to cheap maneuvers like that to grab our hearts as well as our heads. It's easy to remember what's good in The Assault, but it's also easy to see where it could have been much better.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Screen Media
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
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Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Original French Audio

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vincent Elbaz Thierry
Grégori Derangère Denis Favier
Mélanie Bernier Carole
Aymen Saïdi Yahia
Chems Dahmani Mustapha
Mohid Abid Makhlouf
Djanis Bouzyani Salim
Marie Guillard Claire
Naturel LeRuyet Emma
Philippe Bas Didier snipper GIGN
Philippe Cura GIGN 1
Grégoire Taulere GIGN 2
Charlie Costillas Young GIGN 1
Ludovic Meacci Young GIGN 2
Laurent Paillot Administrative GIGN
Antoine Basler Solignac
Louis Arene Solignac's Assistant
Hugo Becker Leroy
Hugues Martel Director of Orsay
Herve Dubourgal Director of Beauvau
Francois Lescurat Expert in Planes
Thierry Pietra DST Agent
Abdelhafid Metalsi Ali Touchent
Jean-Philippe Puymartin Pilot of the Plane
David Sevier Copilot of the Plane
Marc Robert Mechanic on the Plane
Samira Lachhab Leïla
Samira Sedira Leïla's Mother
Lounes Tazairt Leïla's Father
Nicholas Melocco Yannick Beugnet
Farid Badaoui Algerian Policeman
Abdelkrim Bahloul Melki
Bing Yin Vietnamese Hostage
Zohra Benali Yahia's Mother
Kader Kada Algerian Ninja
Fatima Adoum 1st Class Woman Passenger
Jane Ressmond Hostess
Thierry Jennaud Stewart
Lassâad Salaani Alger Cleaner
Bruno Seznec Airport Director

Technical Credits
Julien Leclercq Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Sébastien Ariaux Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Pierre-Jacques Benichou Casting
Stéphane Biccheri Sound Editor
Myrtille Bivaud Set Decoration/Design
Guillaume Castagne Makeup Special Effects
Jean-Claude Dauphinot Special Effects
Marine De Roulet Makeup
Georges Demetreau Special Effects
Cédric Denoze Sound Editor
Mickael Dumontier Editor
Sara Helmlinger Special Effects
Nicolas Herlin Makeup Special Effects
Jean-Jacques Hertz Score Composer,Musical Arrangement
Laëtitia Hillion Makeup Special Effects
Thierry LeComte Asst. Director
Muriel Legrand Costumes/Costume Designer
Frederic LeLouet Sound Editor
Christine Lucas-Navarro Editor
Julien Madon Producer
Sebastien Marquilly Sound/Sound Designer
Jérôme Miel Special Effects
Simon Moutairou Screenwriter
Marc Olla Executive Producer
Thierry Pouget Cinematographer
Piste Rouge Sound/Sound Designer
Francois Roy Score Composer
Jacques Sans Sound/Sound Designer
Bruno Seznec Sound Mixer,Sound/Sound Designer
Frederic Thoraval Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Assault
1. Breach [5:36]
2. Air France [4:53]
3. Highjacking [6:53]
4. The Boarding Steps [10:43]
5. Not Married [6:31]
6. An Offer [16:16]
7. Unfavorable Operation [12:41]
8. Intervening [7:06]
9. The Assault [10:06]
10. End Of The Firefight [2:42]
11. Aftermath [4:52]
12. Credits [2:37]


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