‘Lost Bullet’ Never Loses Sight of the Action

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Published July 27, 2020
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"Lost Bullet" is a French action film written and directed by Guillaume Pierret. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Although movie theaters are on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Netflix is filling in that missing gap with their own original films. The French action thriller film, “Lost Bullet,” directed and written by Guillaume Pierret, takes a different turn on the action genre.

Taking place in France, Lino, played by Alban Lenoir, is a mechanic with a criminal record trying to get a second chance at life to reduce his jail time by working for a police squad. Lino is later framed by corrupt cops for a murder he did not commit and must go through great lengths to prove his innocence.

Lino’s character is the epitome of a bad guy. Most action movies, such as “Fast and Furious,” would try to humanize criminals by having them surrounded by family and loved ones. However, Pierret doesn’t reflect that type of humanization in his film.

The film mainly relies on camera movement and quick editing. There weren’t any flashy explosions or crazy gun fights. The only one that stood out was when two characters used shotguns as sticks to fight one another.

As far as violent action, it was mostly physical fighting and the sound effects for each punch and kick sounded more realistic and less cartoonish than most action films.

The film reflects how action plays out in reality, and whoever directs the next big blockbuster action thriller could take some pointers out of Pierret’s handbook. He was aware of the boundaries of how similar situations would happen outside of a fictional realm. Although it may be fun to watch actors like Vin Diesel ride his car across buildings, none of those stunts would be possible in real life.

The idea of a criminal clearing his name sounds cliche on paper. The title alone feels baffling because a movie about a man searching for a single bullet sounds hollow. But, once the screenplay and filming were done, the film shows how different it is from other films of the same genre.

"Lost Bullet" relied less on CGI effects and more on realistic action scenes. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

“Lost Bullet,” relies less on CGI effects and more on realistic action scenes.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

For a low-budget film, the car chases looked incredibly hard to pull off, but were pulled off well. The stunts pulled off in this film definitely deserve applause since most modern action films rely on computer-generated images (CGI). The film relied on digital cameras, which isn’t a popular device to use in the film industry due to its grainy display of footage and there were times where this reflected in the cinematography that made it obvious to the audience it is not a blockbuster-budgeted film.

The production design was interesting as well, specifically the way the film had a metal hook attached to the car and used it as Lino’s weapon of choice. The weapon design definitely helped spice up the action.

Even though the protagonist is a criminal, I couldn’t help but root for him because of how oppressing the authorities were in this film. The story as a whole showed how a legitimate criminal can be made into a good guy, without a family or complex historical route that most action films have already done.

As entertaining as it was, the title of the film, “Lost Bullet,” has seemingly nothing to do with the plot. The movie isn’t even about an actual bullet. It’s more about a man searching for a car that contains a bullet, with hardly any reference to the actual bullet.

Overall, the pros certainly outweigh the cons with this film. It creates an appreciation for the action genre with all of their complex stunts and fight scenes.

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