Revenge (France)

Do Not Touch


11 May 2018| No Comments on Revenge (France)     by Sean Chavel



The grisly, highly brutal and blood-gushing French film Revenge gets off to a compelling start before losing its way. An unscrupulous and just plain mean boyfriend (Kevin Janssens) flies in on a helicopter to the desert with his sexpot girlfriend Jen (Matilda Lutz). The boyfriend’s name is Richard and he’s married, but he’s there to go hunting with his buddies and have sex. Jen wants to move to L.A. one day to become an actress, and go there to be “noticed just to be noticed.” She reeks of sex appeal, and seems to have chosen this narcissistic Richard only because the arrangement comes with perks. When the two other hunting buddies show up, she’s there to bounce around, dance and tease. That’s her free spirit modus operandi, and it’s also the film stock too which is shot with bright lollipop colors to start with. She will turn from submissive object to self-assertive warrior during what becomes a hellbent odyssey.


The next morning the boyfriend is out on errands, and one of the buddies, Stan (Vincent Colombe), makes a move on her. The lines he’s tosses at her are the kind of lines a guy delivers to a girl when he thinks he can lay her within the hour. She senses that and moves to another room. It dawns on this guy that his lines aren’t going to work on her, and even though she’s a slut in his mind, he’s pissed that she doesn’t find his aggressiveness appealing. He asks her, “Tell me then, what is it that you don’t like about me?” That there’s a natural pause right there is the right note for the film to capture. Jen answers him, but of course there is no right answer that’s going to get him to lay off.

The hideous tension builds between them, and he rapes her. The second hunting buddy, Dimitri (Guillaume Bouchede), turns up the volume on the TV in the other room and avoids the situation. Richard learns of the nonconsensual sex that happened in his house, and surprisingly, sides with Dimitri and not Jen. He concedes to have his helicopter pilot come and pick up Jen to take her home, since she no longer wants to be there. Jen says the “wrong things,” such comments that come on as a threat to Richard’s ego and livelihood, and so Richard decides to do away with Jen for good.

Jen shouldn’t survive the ordeal – it’s highly improbable that she does – but, alas, she does! I’m willing to allow a suspension of disbelief that she gets away, even hobbled, partly burned to a crisp but not in anyway where she can’t trek on. I’m still with the film for a few more minutes, even after the film stock had turned into brownish and musky “Wolf Creek” colors, but my interest turned downhill quickly.

Obviously she is going to wreak revenge on these sick bastards. The three men are split up trying to find her in the dark of desert. I don’t know if she overpowers the fattest of the three men with her power or her wits or with her luck. But the fat one had a jeep, and she doesn’t commandeer the jeep after she’s dispatched him. Suddenly, she’s got herself on a motorbike. Wait, what? After that, the director Coralie Fargaet lets her take refuge in a cave so she can recuperate, and the director pours on the kind of free association imagery of feverish hallucinations we gathered “127 Hours,” and maybe “Under the Skin.”

Jen will heal herself and continue on an obsessive crusade to take down guy number two and three. With the cat and mouse game with guy number two, the director elects to draw out the suspense by the girl striking the dude but not fully killing him, letting the dude hobble away and leave a trail of blood, backtrack to trick the girl, and try to take her from behind. This isn’t suspenseful, it’s tedious. Jen should have also caught onto that backtrack trick since she used the same trick to avoid her hunters earlier. Anyway, the “he” gets his just dessert. If only he got his just dessert and the film had also got on with saying something interesting again, alas, it does not.

“Revenge” eventually finishes off all its paper-thin plot points. What concludes is not a resonant or illuminating revenge tale, it’s merely a gross one.

French film with in both French and English, with subtitles.

108 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “I Spit On Your Grave” (1980); “Ms. 45” (1981); “Baise-Moi” (2000, France); “Sweet Karma” (2009).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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