Colt 45


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Colt 45
"Perset is definitely one to watch out for."

Police corruption is a subject so thoroughly explored in film that it's difficult to find anything new to say about it. We're so used to seeing gunfights in dimly lit warehouses that it's hard to shoot one that's still thrilling to watch. Though formulaic in many ways, Colt 45 succeeds in doing something different in both these areas, partly by using a new angle and partly through the performance of its young star.

Ymanol Perset is Vincent, the son of an officer killed in the line of duty; he's bullied by his superiors, lives in a workshop and doesn't have anyone to love him, but he seems happy that way, happy to have a low profile; he's shy and stand-offish, only truly passionate about guns. Although what he enjoys goes beyond the more popular sport of target shooting and extends to running around courses aiming for human-shaped targets, he's horrified by the thought of hurting anyone and likes to stay in the background at work, where he's treated as a handy in-house ballistics expert. But when Vincent wins an international shooting competition, his talent comes to the attention of people who want to exploit it, and he's faced with some hard choices.

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Once Vincent finds himself forced to shoot at real people, his unusual talent makes for some impressive set piece action scenes, the more effective because we never lose sight of his vulnerability. Perset gives us a character who knows how to talk tough when the occasion requires it - there's a great scene where he winds up fellow officers and is rescued by the woman who has taken a shine to him, who doesn't quite grasp the different rules he's required to play by as a man - but who, at 22, has no idea how to stand up for himself under real pressure. The difficulty for those seeking to exploit this is that when he eventually snaps, they could be in the firing line.

Colt 45 is well paced and has enough energy to keep fans of the genre happy, even if there are not many surprises along the way. It also makes some biting, if familiar, observations about the French and American approach to international terrorism. What it lacks in moral complexity it makes up for in emotional depth, and Perset is definitely one to watch out for.

Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2015
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A young police officer gets out of his depth with dangerous people who covet his talent with a gun.

Director: Fabrice Du Welz

Writer: Fathi Beddiar, Fabrice Du Welz

Starring: Ymanol Perset, Gérard Lanvin, Joey Starr, Alice Taglioni, Simon Abkarian

Year: 2014

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France


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