This gritty French thriller can’t decide what it wants to be – a thoughtful, character-based melodrama or a thunderous, ‘Taken’-style action flick. Vincent Lindon plays Simon, an ex-cop whose hand in a fatal drink-driving incident has left him scarred, alienated from his family and scratching a living as a security guard. But when his young son witnesses a group of drug dealers knocking off a rival in a public toilet (seriously, guys, get a room), Simon swings into action to keep him safe.
‘Mea Culpa’ would have been a better film if writer-director Fred Cavayé (‘Anything for Her’) had sacked off the heavy-handed brow-beating drama and focused on his key strength: absolutely riveting action. Far more competent in this department than his contemporaries in the Luc Besson school of shakycam bust-ups, Cavayé’s style is crisp, clear and bracing, from a wordless opening punch-up in a parked car to a daft but enjoyable shootout finale on the TGV. Those who like their action old school – and don’t mind a bit of draggy chit-chat in between – should seek this out.