A Gallic rogue-cop thriller that’s all meat-and-potatoes and little gravy, “R.I.F. — Recherche dans l’Interet des Familles” is as generically entertaining as its standard gritty look. This effort by scribe-turned-helmer Franck Mancuso (who wrote nail-biter “36 Quai des Orfevres”) follows an overworked policeman on vacation whose wife disappears at a gas station a la “The Vanishing.” Though it has a few hairpin twists, there’s too little here to set the pic apart from its potboiler brethren. Midsized release struggled to reach $2 million locally during its early fall run, though smallscreen sailing should be smoother.Title refers to the French equivalent of a missing-person report, which is what Stephane (Yvan Attal) has to file when his wife (Valentina Cervi) disappears in Gaul’s least-populated province. The procedure-respecting local cop (Pascal Elbe) who takes on the case infuriates his Parisian colleague Stephane, an act first, think later kind of person. As in “Anthony Zimmer” (remade as “The Tourist”), Attal plays an Everyman on the run from clever plot machinations, with the characters remaining mere chess pieces rather than real people. Rhythm is dictated by plotting and cutting; electro score is only occasionally used.
A Studiocanal release of a Babe Films, StudioCanal, France 2 Cinema, Epheme Prods. production, in association with Canal Plus, TPS Star, France Televisions. (International sales: Studiocanal, Paris.) Produced by Fabio Conversi, Patrick Gimenez. Directed by Franck Mancuso. Screenplay, Mancuso, DOA.
Camera (color, HD), Thomas Hardmeier; editor, Jennifer Auge; music, Louis Bertignac; production designer, Emile Ghigo; costume designer, Nathalie du Roscoat. Reviewed at Mon Cine, Anglet, France, Sept. 18, 2011. Running time: 95 MIN.
Yvan Attal, Pascal Elbe, Valentina Cervi, Armelle Deutsch, Jean-Dominique Perrin, Christian Baumann, Richard Jorelle, Charlene Riback.