'Most Wanted' Review: Josh Hartnett and Antoine Olivier Pilon shine in realistic crime thriller high on drama
Most Wanted' combines an excellent score, authentic set and costume design, and inspired acting to deliver a movie that might not get your blood pumping, but will touch your heart nonetheless
Spoilers for 'Most Wanted' (2020) aka 'Target Number One'
Daniel Roby's latest crime thriller 'Most Wanted', known as 'Target Number One' outside the US, isn't everybody's cup of tea. But that said, it's a well-crafted film that chooses emotional drama and artistic brilliance over the usual fare of action movies.
In 1989, Alain Olivier was arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, with the charge of intention to traffic heroin. He spent eight years in prison for a crime he claims he was framed for by corrupt Canadian Police officers. This is his story.
Antoine Olivier Pilon stars as Daniel Léger, a fictionalized version of Olivier. His performance in the role is top-notch, conveying emotions both external and internal with mastery. The movie shows how Léger is pressured into returning to drugs by a man called Picker (Jim Gaffigan) after a stint behind bars. It then moves on to show how Léger is introduced to the undercover cop Frank Cooper (Stephen Mchattie) who forces him to go to Thailand, and you see where this is going.
On the other side of the story, we have the struggling journalist Victor Malarek (Josh Hartnett) who discovers Daniel's story and sets out to bring it to light. Hartnett does the real-life role justice without steering into action-hero territory and puts up a great performance through all the trouble that his character is subjected to.
And boy, are there a lot of those! Victor is constantly threatened and persecuted to the point where he almost loses his wife. But despite all of that, his unwavering dedication to the truth pushes him to persevere and bring to light the tragic story of Daniel Léger.
Roby does an amazing job directing this ultra-realistic crime thriller, ticking off all the boxes of the genre but without sensationalism or over-the-top action. That's not to say there isn't any action in here but it is far more realistic than the sort of thing we've come to expect from movies in the genre. 'Most Wanted' combines an excellent score, authentic set and costume design, and inspired acting to deliver a movie that might not get your blood pumping, but will touch your heart nonetheless.
'Most Wanted' had its VOD release in the US on Friday, July 24.