Sentinelle is an action-thriller movie directed by Julien Leclercq, written by Julien Leclercq and Matthieu Serveau and stars Olga Kurylenko, Marilyn Lima and Michel Nabokoff, alongside other cast members.
Revenge thrillers are a rave when it comes to movies that release online. Make someone go through hell at the hands of an influential someone and a close, albeit little unstable but highly trained, relative of the victim will go through the seven layers of hell to avenge the wrong done to them. While the recipe isn’t all bad, you still need to add something new to the mix if you want to actually make a mark.
Sentinelle follows Klara, a highly-skilled French soldier, who, after being transferred home post a deadly combat mission, must avenge her sister’s rapist who put her in a coma.
The plot sounds like something you’ve seen too many times, right? And that assessment is absolutely on-point. Sentinelle doesn’t deliver even one thing that can be considered new. Klara is devastated after her traumatising mission and thus she is heavily addicted to prescription medicines. She can’t keep calm and everything around her feels like a threat. When she finally tries to wind down while partying with her sister, it turns out to be even more traumatising.
Her addiction and her PTSD, along with what her sister goes through feel like they’re out of a revenge thriller manual. They just switched it up with a female protagonist. While I do appreciate that Klara is a strong woman able to kick three bad-guy asses at the same time, her character feels devoid of any emotion. We see her have night terrors and pop pills every 5 minutes, but it still doesn’t really click with you. Same with her sister – we know so little about her that you can’t connect with Klara’s rage when she goes through something this horrible.
I think this is Sentinelle’s big flaw, in my book. The characters are so underdeveloped that it’s bland. Everyone else other than Klara feels like an afterthought when you watch this movie – people are just there in the background. They don’t add anything to the story and thus you don’t get to see anyone else’s perspective or feel what they are feeling even for a second.
The story, on the other hand, flows in one straight line. There’s no other plotline that goes on in the 80 minutes that Sentinelle is on the screen. It’s all cause and effect for this thriller and it doesn’t stray away from its plot. With a runtime that is so tight, you can kind of see why that might be, but truth be told, it’s quite apparent that there was not much to cover in the movie.
The movie pads its runtime with two to three different slow-motion sequences and there are around 5-10 minutes of Klara walking around a mansion with nary a person in sight, gun cocked. It gets dull really fast, especially because you know exactly how it’s going to end.
That being said, Sentinelle’s fight sequences are quite gnarly and gory and does not shy away from giving you an up-close and personal look at a knife going inside a neck – multiple times. If you’re interested in fight sequences, it might be something that catches your eye. Other than that, I’d say that it also briefly shows how much trauma a person can carry with them after coming back from combat operations. The PTSD that Klara goes through in her quiet and peaceful walks around her hometown creates a stark contrast and is quite thoughtful, but we don’t really go back to that angle for too long.
Leading lady Olga Kurylenko is the only character that matters in Sentinelle as I said above. She does well with her character – both in more emotional moments and the fight sequences. She shines with her character and is the only person worth watching in this below average movie.
Summing up: Sentinelle
Sentinelle is like a one-track movie that (probably) purposefully tries not to do anything new or shocking. It follows a set path and very aggressively goes down that path. If you want to see something new or mind-blowing, this movie will highly disappoint you. But at 80 minutes, it’s good for a light watch.
Sentinelle is streaming on Netflix.
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