With all the dignity of a drowning man, a father undeserving of respect cajoles his son into a presumed big score in “In Your Wake.” When the long-absent dad tells his honest, taciturn boy “Just say stop if you don’t want to go through with this,” any normally constituted viewer will be subvocalizing “Uh, stop” — but train wreck of reluctant filial piety keeps chugging along anyway. Thoughtful widescreen lensing conveys dead-end urban isolation and thesps are fine, but character study’s rewards are as elusive as the jackpot allegedly waiting in a minimally guarded warehouse on the periphery of Paris.
Boasting the parenting skills of a guppy, Gabriel (Jacques Gamblin) seems to have modeled his sense of personal responsibility after Robert De Niro’s screw-up in “Mean Streets.” Son Marco (Nicolas Giraud), a dishwasher in a hotel restaurant, leads a simple but honorable existence. Charismatic Gabriel, whose major occupation is wearing a leather jacket, drafts Marco to tail a night watchman (Jacques Spiesser) in order to reclaim money he says he’s owed. Awash in extreme close-ups, elliptical run-up to the heist is majestically tedious and denouement predictable.