16 June 2024

Five of the best modern foreign thrillers

The Sweeney Paris

With plenty of jaw-dropping action scenes amongst twisting plots to keep you gripped, some of today’s most enthralling thrillers exist outside of the English language. No exception is French crime drama THE SWEENEY: PARIS coming to cinemas and exclusively to Sky Store on April 15.

Buren (Jean Reno) is an old time cop who doesn’t play by the rules, whilst his squad uses force when it comes to the law. With every move closely monitored by their new boss Lenoir, Buren knows his time is running out. When a heist turns into a bloodbath, Buren soon realises that it is part of a bigger operation and, with nothing to lose, decides to take action.

To celebrate the release of The Sweeney: Paris on April 15, we go from France to Taiwan, by way of Indonesia to look at some of the greatest foreign thrillers to have hit our screens in recent years.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2003)

Impressively boasting 4 Oscars, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon stands as the highest grossing foreign-language film in American history. Praised for its intense martial arts sequences, the story follows Li Mu Bai, an accomplished swordsman intending to swap the sword for a life of meditation. With a persistent, quiet longing to avenge the death of his master who was killed by the devious Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-pei), the peaceful life he desires seems to be out of reach. Hoping to pass on his demons, he gives his infamous sword, Green Destiny, to Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). Inevitable complications arise, and with the two tangled in a secret love affair any chance of a peaceful life quickly disappears.

District 13 (2004)

From critically-acclaimed French producer Luc Besson, District 13 is a French thriller most notable for its intense parkour, impressively completed without any computer generated effects. In the near future social problems have overrun the poorer suburbs of Paris, most aggressively affecting ghetto B13. A young punk is determined to take down the ruthless crime lord that controls the walled-off, unlawful area that he is forced to reside in, but when his sister is kidnapped he must team up with an undercover cop to attempt any kind of retaliation.

The Raid (2011)

Reuniting director Gareth Evans with his star Iko Uwais in a second collaboration after their first action film, Merantau (2009), The Raid upped the ante to showcase some truly hard-core, full-body fighting. Leaving his pregnant wife behind, special tactics officer Rama (Uwais) joins a 20-man elite squad in a bid to fulfil a cryptic promise to bring his father home. Intending to capture crime lord Tama Riyadi, who boldly stands in a tenement protected by an army of killers, the team face an onslaught of violence, devious betrayal and desperate negotiation as they fight to reach him.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Based on the best-selling novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows journalist Mike Blomkvist as he investigates how a woman from a wealthy family suspiciously disappeared forty years ago. Uncovering a notebook containing a list of names and numbers that even the most elite investigators have not been able to decipher, Blomkvist hires Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a tattooed, ruthless computer hacker. The two become lovers, but as they begin to unravel a dark, terrifying family history, the investigative mission instinctively becomes a protective one.

The Sweeney: Paris (2016)

An adaption of the 70s British TV crime drama, The Sweeney: Paris exposes the story of warped, old-school cop Buren (Jean Reno). Refusing to play by the rules, his squad comes under threat when new boss Lenoir makes it his mission to follow their every move. When a heist turns into murder, a former convict’s house is raided in a bid to race against the ticking clock, but his plan quickly fails when the convict has a rock-solid alibi. Taking risky measures out of desperation, Buren quickly realises that he has nothing left to lose and has no choice but to take extreme action.


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