The Blaze | En Plein Fer (2023)

March 9th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Quentin Reynaud | Cast: Andre Dussollier, Alex Lutz | France Thriller, 85′

There have been a number of good films about the ecological disaster of wildfires in the past few years, perhaps the most memorable being Fire Will Come. Sadly, Quentin Reynaud’s feature debut feels rather underwhelming considering the dramatic potential of its subject and exciting plot elements: a forest fire that rages out of control through the Landes region in South Western France killing animals and terrifying the human population. And a father and son hoping for reconciliation.

On the plus side Quentin Reynaud uses the topical tragedy to reflect the troubled backstory of a grieving man (Alex Lutz) who is keen to reconnect with his father (the reliable Andre Dussollier). But unlike the fierce forest fire that gets The Blaze off to a tense and exhilarating start, powered forward by convincing CGI effects and a nerve-needling score, the film soon fizzles out in the glowing embers of enigma without a satisfying conclusion leaving us high and dry on the sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast. Reynaud had a great cast and some really strong plot elements to work with, he just needed to develop his script more. MT.




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