December, 1994. Terrorists from the GIA (Groupe Islamique Armé) seize an Air France Airbus on the tarmac at Algiers airport. The French authorities are determined to save the lives of the French passengers, but the Algerians want to handle it themselves. However, as the title of this true-life chronicle makes clear, the situation escalated towards a high-risk armed response from an elite French police squad which the film tracks in close detail.
The jittery camerawork recalls Paul Greengrass’s ‘United 93’, and, like that film, this is a movie which does well by a limited game plan, piecing together diplomatic and operational minutiae as it builds to a gripping finale intercut with dramatic real TV footage of the events. Slightly bland performances, but otherwise brisk and involving.