I watched enough movies to at least learn that professional assassins worth the money for hire, did their job cleanly and effectively. Two in the chest, one in the head. That’s how it should’ve been carried out. So, when seven masked people stormed Jean Reno, unleashed their ammo from a close range and only managed to land “22 Bullets” on him and not even able to kill him, I had a premonition that the film would go nowhere but downhill. Indeed, this film is among Jean Reno’s worst film that I’ve ever seen. Made worse with the fact that I’m nearly clueless about the film’s who and what. It’s not that hard to follow but you had to pay a dear attention for the first few minutes and even so, the unfamiliar faces and reading subtitles made it a bit harder that it should’ve been.
This is the third film I’ve seen this month that romanticised the ‘evil’ guys and second that put this ‘evil’ guys on a ‘justifiable’ revenge path. The first seven minutes of this film introduces us to Jean Reno and his eventual downfall when he was ambushed, riddled with shots, and left for dead. Only of course, he isn’t.
On a plus, this film isn’t really a simple revenge. It puts a little bit of personalization to its characters and provides ample background for each to give this film a run for its two hours length and more than sufficient reason to root for Jean Reno. It’s actually quite interesting but as a tradeoff, it would be a little while before we get into the juicy parts. I figured that some people will simply get bored with it. I mean, I was almost pulling myself to keep the interest afloat. Not to mention the need to constantly read the subtitle as my French is a bit rusty and therefore, often put me in a position where I had to made assumptions of what’s what and who’s who.
And then there’s the case where sometime in the movie we’re treated into a scene, well, two separate scenes where a question would inevitably pop up in your head had you paid a little attention to the movie. “Didn’t he just had …, then why does he able to do ….?” For the sake of spoilers, I shall left the two words from the question remains blank.
In overall, it’s largely uneven experience. There are some scenes where the film promises to be a much interesting journey than it actually was, the level of violence were kept at mild even if when it has to, it treated the need for it unflinchingly, and some of the actions would be appreciated although one of the car chase scene was laughably bad. In short, I couldn’t find a better example in recent memory to show how uneven a film can be. This film flipping between okay and bad as often as I switched Windows during one of my multitasking day. If anything, it was among the worst Jean Reno film that I’ve seen.
My rating: *1/2 / **** – Flipping between okay and bad at an alarming rate, some of this revenge flick has a merit to satisfy both casual viewers and fans of action film. But eventually, the holes that ridden the flimsy plot would be too obvious to ignore.