Lost Bullet (French: Balle perdue)
19th June 2020
A small-time delinquent turned police mechanic for a go-fast task force, is forced to defend his innocence when his mentor is killed by dirty cops.
Alban Lenoir, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Ramzy Bedia
There’s not a whole lot to say about French Crime Thriller Lost Bullet, which is newly available thanks to Netflix. It’s a thriller that shows promise when deciding to be an action film but bogs itself down with derivative plot and lackluster characters. At it’s best it begins to resemble the Indonesian martial arts hit The Raid or George Millers Mad Max, but only in brief moments. Unfortunately, these moments are all too fleeting and are exclusively contained in single scenes, the final climactic car chase being the prime example.
Lost Bullet follows Lino (Alban Lenoir: Taken, Bad Seeds), a small-time criminal who gets caught attempting to rob a jewelry store with the help of his brother and their heavily reinforced car. His brother Quentin (Rod Paradot: Luna, Standing Tall) escapes and Lino is forced to accept a prison sentence. Some time has passed when Inspector Charas (Ramzy Bedia: Taxi 5) hires Lino to work as a mechanic for his special police unit that is struggling to keep up with the fast cars used by drug dealers. But before long, Charas is betrayed and killed from within the police force and the blame is laid at Lino. Needless to say, Lino goes on the run in an attempt to clear his name.
Lost Bullet never feels like it knows what film it wants to be, taking itself far too seriously in its forgettable plot to justify the bursts of martial arts or vehicle carnage. It’s jarring to watch our protagonist beat up 10 police officers and escape from their custody when the world has already been established as “relatively” grounded. It’s especially odd because these few action scenes are the most exciting moments in the film. It made me wish for a playful or unapologetic tone akin to Crank or Hardcore Henry.
The final car chase itself feels like it belongs in a different film, but I can’t deny that it’s a tremendous amount of fun. Well shot and with some impressive stunts, it’s clearly the highlight of Lost Bullet but ultimately comes too late to redeem the film as a whole. The rest is generic, emotionless drivel that’s almost impossible to invest any interest in. It certainly doesn’t sin as hard as the recent The Last Days of American Crime, but it is more forgettable thanks to the more dominant “corrupt cop” story being paced like a drama rather than a thriller.
It makes Lost Bullet a hard thing to recommend outside providing background noise that’s interrupted by the occasional fun action scene. More likely than not it’ll get lost amongst Netflix’s vast catalog, another victim of the streaming platforms current focus on quantity over quality.
Lost Bullet is available to stream on Netflix now.
Thrilling climatic car chase
Opening shows promise
Unable to decide what film it wants to be
Takes itself too seriously