Chris (Jonathan Howard) has returned to France from England after a rather hasty departure the last time. He meets his friends Luc (Jonathan Demurger) and Ludivine (Fanny Valette), even though there’s obvious tension between them. But Luc doesn’t want to let it go. So he hops into a cab with Chris and tries to convince him to forget the past. As they get out of the cab, Luc decides to skip paying the driver (Jess Liaudin) and Chris gets pulled along. But the driver won’t let it go and so Chris and Luc find themselves being chased through the city.
Night Fare starts well enough, in the beginning it’s moody and atmospheric. But as soon as the movie gets to its conclusion and reveals the driver’s agenda, it just becomes so stupid I wanted to cry.
To quickly explain the solution to the story: the driver isn’t actually hunting Chris and Luc because of the skipped fare but because years ago they accidentally killed a homeless man while taunting him. And the driver belongs to a long line of vigilante avengers who punish wrongdoers and sometimes when they find regretful evildoers with potential, they sentence them to be the next driver vigilante and retire. In the end the driver kidnaps Ludivine, Chris – who was with her first and seems the more remorseful of the two – goes to save her and is rewarded with girl and freedom, while Luc who is more hesitant gets thrown into a cell with the historical vigilante diaries and is brainwashed into being the next driver – something the current driver can so perfectly explain to Chris in one whispered sentence that Chris watches calmly as he takes Luc away and even tells Ludivine not to worry.
And apart from the fact that I would be really curious what the driver actually said, I just wanted to scream at the stupidity of the ending. First, Ludivine disappears right after setting up the love triangle and the tension between the guys, just to reappear as the convenient damsel in distress. Second, the whole thing descends into a self-righteous paternalistic power fantasy that subscribes to a notion of masculinity and justic that makes me absolutely furious. Third, it relies on an outdated moral codex that somehow includes kidnapping women to teach guys a lesson as totally fine.
But even if we disregard all these things, the movie isn’t even consistent in itself. If the driver is not some kind of supernatural force and not just after them for the cab fare, how the fuck is he able to follow them around the town all the time even when he has no freaking clue where they’re going and they escape his sight? How the fuck did he know about their killing of the homeless guy?
It’s a shame really. I liked how Chris and Luc’s friendship was portrayed and how they both tried to deal with everything that happened. And as I said, in the beginning, the film managed to create quite a tense atmosphere. But with a hypermasculine, conservative dreck of an ending, I will never be happy.