Quelquefois, il y a un film étrange qui n’est pas tres mal. Souvent, la seule raison pour ca est le qualité de vedettes dans le film, et plus souvent il y a seulement un vedette qui brille plus birlliant que les autres. C’est vrai pour 22 Bullets (L’Immortel) avec Jean Reno.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, your eyes don’t deceive you, I wrote the intro to this piece in French. Why? Two simple reasons, because “22 Bullets” is a French action film, and second, Jean Reno is an old school French actor American audiences should recognize from many films (“Mission Impossible,” “Ronin” and “The Professional” to name a few). The quick translation of the intro is that sometimes there’s a foreign film that’s not bad, often because one or more of the stars are good, and even more often because one of them shines above the rest. In this case, it’s Jean Reno (who looks like he hasn’t aged a day since “M:I”).
Enough about Mr. Reno, on to the movie!
A mobster with a murderous reputation gets out of the game and starts a family. The mob doesn’t like the fact that he’s out of the game, and squares their books with him. With bullets. Twenty-two bullets, to be precise. On top of that, the mob goes after his family. To say that he’s upset is the understatement of the century, and as such, he goes off in search of redemption, reunion with his family, and of course, revenge. Mobsters better start checking their sixes now.
The Good: Jean Reno is a senior citizen who doesn’t look like he ate ‘roids for breakfast, lunch and dinner who still knows how to blow [expletive deleted] up! Also, the same producers who brought us “Taken,” which is a rather underrated film for what it is and its PG-13 rating, helmed this, so that’s definitely a plus. At least the movie will be coherent.
The Bad: The plot is not only a reused from a host of other (better) movies, it’s a little contrived. It reeks of “Kill Bill” since Uma Thurman was “killed” and left to die, but she didn’t. The difference here is that Reno got capped 22 times. Eat that 50 Cent. That said, how does a guy get popped 22 times, Uzied and shottied, and NOT die? Also Jean Reno is a little stilted. Granted, you can only play the “former-mobster-pulled-back-in-because-his-old-crew-tried-to-whack-him-and-now-he-wants-revenge” part within certain restrictions, but Jean Reno, who showed that murder and betrayal could be funny in “M:I,” seems to have left that all behind, which is a shame.
The Ugly: There’s nothing really ugly here. If I were pressed to put something here for ugly, it would be the fact that someone was shot 22 times, including several in the face, and not only didn’t he die, there’s no facial scarring. I’d love to shake hands with someone who took a full on shotty blast mafia-style to the gut and lived to tell about it
The Final Verdict: If this movie actually hits theaters nationwide I would not recommend dropping $9 on it. A $6 matinee is not out of the question though. Personally, I’ll stream it from Netflix when its hour comes ’round at last, but for those who aren’t that cool, renting this on DVD on a cold, snowy winter night would be right up your alley.
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Follow Chris Hyatt on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hyattch.
Thanks for the review! Isn’t it interesting how casting Jean Reno somehow manages to make any French action movie more sophisticated, no matter how formulaic? Movies like WASABI and EMPIRE OF THE WOLVES kinda prove that point. And it’s interesting how casting him an American one always seems to bring some sense of sophistication…at least from a marketing perspective.
Nonetheless, JR is really fun to watch. But surviving 22 gunshot wounds? Yeah- I agree that that’s a bit of a stretch, even for León.