Based on former gangster Edmond Vidal’s autobiography, A Gang Story looks back at one of France’s most notorious crime syndicates, Le Gang des Lyonnais. The leader of the gang, a proud and dignified man from another era, Vidal (Gérard Lanvin from Mesrine, Point Blank) is now in his sixties but still believes in values and honor. Retired from “the business” and wishing to lead a peaceful life, Vidal is asked to help break out of prison his old friend and partner Serge (Tchéky Karyo from Kiss of the Dragon, La Femme Nikita).
A Gang Story takes on an increasingly tragic air, as we watch characters embark on actions they know will probably lead to their own destruction. Just as The Godfather both drew on and diverged from earlier gangster films, so too director Olivier Marchal, himself a former police officer, evokes American examples of the genre to highlight their differences with French criminal life. Marchal has made a solid return to gangster films in the vein of The Town and Heat, but in the French style, of course.