Not 2 Fast, Certainly Not 2 Furious
There’s a reason so many Fast and Furious sequels have been green-lit. That cocktail of caricature action stars, big set pieces and high octane action involving cars makes for quite the summer blockbuster. Unfortunately, Lost Bullet is not a summer blockbuster. Nor is it really that original. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, French thriller Lost Bullet takes some of the concepts that make that aforementioned franchise so successful and injects it into a plot that never quite breaks free from the mediocrity it revels in for much of its 90 minute run-time.
After a simple prologue sets the scene for what’s to come, police officer Chara recruits a genius mechanic from prison called Lino to come and help him with his operation in thwarting a group of dealers once and for all. Unfortunately the operation goes awry and Lino is immediately framed for what happens next.
As the situation escalates into a cat and mouse search, Lino is hunted by a rogue group of bad cops. Lino scrambles to find the evidence needed to avoid conviction but that’s easier said than done when the evidence comes in the form of a bullet wedged inside a car that’s gone missing.
While the basic premise is simple enough for a thrilling action plot to take place, the style of the film never allows for those exciting set pieces to shine. There’s one car chase late on that comes close but aside from that the film plays things far too close to gritty realism. It’s hard not to think this film should have leaned much heavier into the flashy set pieces and big action scenes that make this genre so appealing.
This grittiness comes with its own set of problems too, as one scene depicts Lino unrealistically fighting his way past 10 cops in a police station to freedom. It doesn’t help that through all this Lino lacks the charisma needed to carry the film. This moody, gruff protagonist feels like he’s been ripped right from a videogame and wouldn’t be amiss as one of those archetypal silent players you control. This is before even mentioning the abrupt, anticlimactic ending to the film.
One of the biggest issues with this film though comes from the musical score. At times it’s non-existent during scenes that are screaming out for some background music to heighten the drama and tension. Other times long shots drag out certain sequences that feel unnecessarily long. It’s a shame because there’s certainly potential here but it feels squandered into a film that’s enjoyable enough but not as thrilling as it could have been.
Overall though, Lost Bullet is a perfectly average thriller that ticks some of the boxes for the genre but misses the mark for some of the more important ones. The characters aren’t that memorable, the plot feels too formulaic and the action set pieces lack the same bite others in this genre manage to achieve. Unfortunately Lost Bullet can’t quite accelerate itself past mediocrity, making for quite the formulaic action film.
Verdict - 5/10