Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Mathieu Kassovitz
Iabe Lapacas.
Directors
Mathieu Kassovitz.
Screenwriters
Pierre Geller.
Running Time
135 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Honeymoon
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Impresario, The
3 Star Empire Rating
I Origins
4 Star Empire Rating
Soul Boys Of The Western World
4 Star Empire Rating
What We Did On Our Holiday
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Rebellion
The anti-Argo


submit to reddit


Plot
In 1988, 30 police were kidnapped by local separatists on an island in the French colony of New Caledonia. Counter-terrorism agent Philippe Legorjus (Kassovitz) is helicoptered in to negotiate peace.


Review
Rebellion
It might not please La Haine’s director Mathieu Kassovitz to hear his impressive new film described as an anti-Argo, but that’s how it looks from here. Like Argo, Kassovitz’s Rebellion is a based-on-fact story involving imperilled Westerners in a distant land. In 1988, 30 police were kidnapped by local separatists on an island in New Caledonia. Again like Argo, the film centres on the decent man sent in to save the situation: Philippe Legorjus (played by Kassovitz), the captain of a counter-terrorism unit.

Here, the films part company. Rebellion is sober in tone, furiously polemical in outlook, and it has colonial France in its sights. Philippe realises the situation is a local botch-up rather than a world crisis, and the so-called “terrorists” panicky youngsters way out of their depth. The real foes are the French ministers and army brass, determined to pulverise the rebellion before presidential elections back home. The separatist leader is given a dignified speech, while Mitterand and Chirac are reduced to babbling idiots on TV screens.

Yet, whatever your ideological colours, the film is absorbing and plausibly told. It’s much more a political drama than an action thriller, foregrounding the work of the negotiator. The increasingly tired, dishevelled Philippe shuttles between hostile parties as the chance of a peaceful outcome, which at first looked deceptively simple, slips away. We see almost everything through Philippe’s limited perspective, which has the effect of distancing the drama, though the rebels are humanised with great eloquence.

Filmed in Polynesia, Tahiti and elsewhere, Rebellion’s locations and camerawork are superb, the latter providing elegant tricks that never jar (timeshifts, jump cuts, an opening vision of carnage played backwards). The combat scenes take up a small fraction of the film, but they’re intensely shot in cramped jungle environments, all confusion and snafus. The narrative is admirably lucid, only marred by one problem — mistimed subtitles in some sections, making following the dialogue a little irritating.


Verdict
Rebellion doesn’t set out to be a crowdpleaser; nor is it really a thriller, despite its subject. Rather it’s an absorbing political drama, eloquent and angry.


Reviewed by Andrew Osmond

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Rebellion
Empire Star Rating

Has anyone seen Rebellion?

Has anyone seen Rebellion? I'm a big fan of Kassovitz as both a director and actor. He was at the Ciné Lumière last week to launch the film in the UK, but I couldn't get tickets. Rather annoyingly I am being forced to select a rating to post... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Axel Foley at 17:32, 25 April 2013 | Report This Post


Has anyone seen Rebellion?

Has anyone seen Rebellion? I'm a big fan of Kassovitz as both a director and actor. He was at the Ciné Lumière last week to launch the film in the UK, but I couldn't get tickets. Rather annoyingly I am being forced to select a rating to post... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Axel Foley at 17:32, 25 April 2013 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)