AKA (2023) review: Action-packed French film with substance

In AKA, a special ops agent is assigned the task of infiltrating a crime syndicate but finds himself questioning the morality of the authorities as well as his own actions. The French-language action film is now streaming on Netflix.


Adam Franco (Alban Lenoir) is a special ops agent with a stellar reputation for executing missions without unwavering courage and ruthlessness.

When Sudan’s Moktar Al Tayeb (Kevin Layne), considered a terrorist in France, is thought to be behind an attack on a hotel in France, the minister who called him to the country asks the head of intelligence to track and eliminate him.

Adam joins the crime syndicate of Moktar’s ally, Victor Pastore (Eric Cantona), hoping to locate Moktar, whom he is helping hide.

However, as Adam gets closer to his son, Jonathan (Noe Shabbat), he starts to question his own morality as well as that of his higher-ups.

As more shocking details come to light, Adam must decide his next course of action and the possible consequences.


Lenoir, a former stuntman, is tailor-made to play the seasoned fighter Franco. His fight scenes are a treat to watch and he nails other aspects of the character as well.

Contona, who is a former footballer, has really taken to acting like fish to water. If you weren’t aware of his career, it’s easy to believe he has been acting all his life.

The film has a host of characters and all the other actors play their parts well, especially Layne.


The fight choreography in AKA is exquisite. You cannot take your eyes off each time Franco throws down his punches as the exhilarating sequences captivate you.

It also feels extremely organic as well due to Franco’s experience. The action in the film does not compromise one bit.

That said, AKA is equally strong during the more tender moments. Throughout the film, Franco is forced to question his own actions.

This comes in the form of a bond between him and Pastor’s son, Jonathan. At a crucial instance, he is unable to prioritise his duty and chooses to help the young child instead.

The film also questions whether any side is completely white. The scheming higher-ups of Franco are not afraid to play unfairly and go to radical lengths to achieve what they want.

This complex layer in the narrative elevates it. It’s an engaging action film, but one that explores relationships and motives with nuance.


There is some lack of context in the plot. The opening sequence isn’t explained clearly enough to understand Franco right away and you have to wait to be truly invested in the character or understand his background.


AKA is one of the better action films in recent times. It does not ride only on meaningless action sequences that are stuffed into the narrative but attempts to go a lot further, and does a stellar job at that.

AKA (2023) review: Action-packed French film with substance 1

Director: Morgan S. Dalibert

Date Created: 2023-04-28 17:46

Editor's Rating:

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