Netflixable? French drug dealers chase “The World is Yours” dreams in this edgy caper comedy

French music video veteran and sometime feature filmmaker (“Our Day Will Come”) Romain Gavris brings Netflix a French (subtitled) caper comedy with a mean streak, “Le monde est à toi” aka “The World is Yours.”

It’s a “one last job/score” tale that takes its title from the DePalma/Pacino “Scarface” and its style from “Snatch” era Guy Ritchie. Yeah, it’s funny. And violent. And very French.

Karim Leklou of “A Prophet” and “The Stronghold” stars as Farès, the “plugger” version of a mid-level management drug trafficker. He’s at that “getting out” stage of his “career,” and has his “straight” life all planned out — an exclusive ice-pop distribution deal for Morocco, a townhouse in the suburbs with a pool — his version of “Haute bourgeoisie for me.”

But his pickpocket/safecracker mother, played with amoral, abusive and martyred glee by Isabelle Adjani (“Diabolique,” “Camille Claudel,” Ishtar”), won’t let him have the money. He took the risks, earned it and saved it. She’s “handled” the cash, and her refusal to turn it over first makes him wonder if she’s put her dream life ahead of his, or worst, that she’s gambled it all away.

So that drug run to Spain that he turned down, the one the deranged and infantile new gang boss Poutane (Sofian Khammes) pitched? He’s forced to take it, now. Thanks to Mum.

He’s must bring two of Poutane’s very young and psychotic henchmen, both named Mohamed (Mahamadou Sangaré, Mounir Amamra). He’ll need the aged, punchy and chatty ex-con Henri (Vincent Cassel of “Mesrine,” “Eastern Promises” and “Black Swan”) to watch his back. And he could use one of his mother’s pickpocket proteges, the younger woman his mother calls “your girlfriend” (Oulaya Amamra).

One thing we figure out from Farès’ unwillingness to confront his mother and her refusal to apologize is that he’s not as tough as most of the folks he mixes with. He’s right to want to get out.

But to pay for the cars he’ll need for this job he and Henri need to pull off a pre-smuggling run robbery. “Fake guns” is all they need, he insists. When it goes horribly, hilariously wrong, the die is cast and the tone is set.

Farès is trapped in this deal with idiots, flakes and untrustworthy reprobates. Everybody he deals with is likely to push him around. And nothing about this junket to Costa Brava will go according to plan.

“The World is Yours” isn’t an out-and-out farce, but the Guy Ritchie plot, cast of characters and even editing strategy finds laughs left, right and every which way in between.

Running gags like everybody thinking almost-hapless Farès’ Mr. Freeze (ice pop) deal is a “scam,” NOBODY being trustworthy and the Two Mohamed’s passion for Illuminati conspiracies (explained on Youtube) and their virulent Anglophia are introduced and return, funnier each time they play out.

“Speak FRENCH you f—–g BRITS!”

A double-crossing “Scotsman” can be distracted by a pretty young thing (Amamra’s pickpocket, Lamya) if she karaokes the Scot (Sam Spruell) and his soccer goon accomplice’s favorite jam.

Toto’s always good for a laugh.

Gavras may have music video chops, but there are only a few moments when the editing — handling a “How drug dealers get tangled up in ‘conspiracy to commit terrorism’ stings” in a montage — and pacing are totally up to comedy snuff.

But Leklou, sort of a French version of hangdog British character actor Daniel Mays, has us rooting for him, alternately worried or furious on Farès’ behalf. Amamra makes a most mercenary femme fatale and Adjani and Cassel thoroughly class-up the joint, each playing characters who are maddening in the most amusing ways.

With Netflix’s poor batting average in over-financing and filming Hollywood thrillers, perhaps the solution to their declining viewership is to spend more of that money abroad on films like “The World is Yours.” The French have this genre wired.

Rating: TV-MA, violence, drug content, profanity

Cast: Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, Oulaya Amamra, Sam Spruell, Sofian Khammes, Mahamadou Sangaré, Mounir Amamra and Gaby Rose.

Credits: Directed by Romain Gavras, scripted by Romain Gavras, Karim Boukercha and Noé Debré. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:41

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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