The thriller based on child abduction has undergone some changes since André
Cayatte days ;they try to treat it in a more realistic way,by concentrating on the relationship between the parents ;and here,sadly ,we run into the hip cliché :the parents are separated ,but they still love each other,in spite of it all .Fortunately the wife's new partner is not cardboard .And the scene between the two rivals,which begins in a genial way , ends up in violence ,from whispers to screams is a good moment;the best scene of an "experimental" movie, maybe an impromptu performance , it takes advantage of a relevant detail: the wife's miscarriage ,as she was pregnant by her new companion :"you did not forgive her (me),so you have abducted and probably killed my own boy!"you're only concerned by your new shack ,your own happiness!"
The police are present ,but their role is so insignificant the viewer is wondering why he pays taxes to be protected by them!
The word is "experimental": Guillaume Canet had not read the screenplay and thus did not know the ending ; his co-stars did though(after all ,Henri Georges Clouzot regretted that Simone Signoret had read "Les diaboliques" screenplay for he did not like the way she played her character).
I thoroughly agree with the precedent users : too many implausibilities , the psychological drama turns into soft Rambo stuff ,in which Canet ,an intellectual geologist world-traveler (why are you never here when your son needs you? his wife screams ,quite rightly so) shows what he's made of.Single --handedly,yes sir! The flashbacks , now
real ones ,thanks to mobiles and computers ,make the difference with the thrillers of yore .But it makes Julien's quest look like a video game :aren't the first (enormous) clues given by the computer?The police are too dumb to have noticed the license plate -anyway it's so implausible that we think it's a wrong track.
A movie which starts well,but gets bogged down along the way; too much filler( both final sequences could be a nice commercial : "a good day begins with a good breakfast :the cereals X......make all the difference!") too many flashbacks which do not make up for the plot holes .