Scathing. It took me a while to realize that Paris is the locus of whiteness in this one: white art gallery, white skinheads, white cops. The immigrant/minority protagonists come from the banlieues. The suburbs. So that’s a difference between France and the United States. But, you know, it’s the same fear of the different.
Pay attention to which one of the kids doesn’t get blamed for the riots, and which one (it’s the same one) who slips past trouble most of the time.
Everyone involved in this was young. The energy shows it. You can’t get away with borrowing as much as Kassovitz does without being brash about it. He fuses it together into his own creation, certainly.