Lost Bullet 2 (Netflix) puts a rewarding genre film spin on the police action thriller, picking up in the immediate and bloody aftermath of the first film to once again unleash its rangy car builder and man of few words against the dirty cops responsible for his brother’s untimely death. Outsized touches of car build culture – how about an electrified battering ram, does that interest you? – meet John Wick-style close quarters punch-ups in writer-director Guillaume Pierret’s entertaining sequel to his 2020 feature debut.
LOST BULLET 2: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: Sometimes he’s a stunt driver. Sometimes he’s an improvisational thief. And sometimes he’s cop-adjacent, putting his build skills and prowess behind the wheel in the driver’s seat of police vehicles customized to intercept fast-moving drug couriers on the highways of southern France. Lino (Alban Lenoir) has been and remains all of these things. But in Last Bullet 2, his obsession is the capture of escaped dirty cop Areski (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and his accomplice Marco (Sebastien Lalanne). Returning also is Julia (Stefi Celma), who gets Lino back on her team of highway interdiction cops as Last Bullet 2 begins. Will Marco and Areski ever see justice for the murder of his brother and their use of police resources to sell narcotics? And what information is police higher-up Moss (Pascale Arbillot) hiding about how the case is being investigated?
That’s the thread Lost Bullet 2 hangs on, building its momentum directly off the first film and wasting no time in unleashing Lino on a new set of the unsuspecting goons and cops ordered to stop him. There are some absolutely brutal fight sequences here, with Lino launching himself bodily against attackers – one of them sports a pry bar; some good that does him against Lino’s flurry of fists and head butts – and applying his car builder’s curiosity and intuition into an invigorated version of the Renault 21 that became its own main character in the first film. It’s blue now, not red. But what if the brooding grease monkey/tough guy behind the wheel welded two steel javelins to the Renault’s front end, the better to ensnare prey during high-speed police chases? And in an aha moment worthy of Ludacris’s Tej in the Fast & Furious films, what if those same javelins were electrified for an added boost of power? Amidst all of the car chase destruction of Lost Bullet 2, it’s whenever the exploding vehicles go vertical that it matches the personal mayhem brought by its memorable main character.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of? The first Lost Bullet was electric, hard-hitting, and lovingly automobile-centric even as it was destroying vehicles right and left, and Lost Bullet 2 is proud to not update that formula in any way, shape, or auto design-crumbling form. (It’s also apparent that a third film is afoot.) Other recent and worthwhile additions to Netflix’s french action movie offerings include Rogue City, Sky High, and Sentenelle.
Performance Worth Watching: Stefi Celma, also of the Netflix comedy Call My Agent!, is a welcome return to Lost Bullet 2 from the events of the first film. As Julia, she’s one of the few honest cops working the drug running beat in southern France, and one of Lino’s only allies, so it’s a joy to watch Celma and Alban Lenoir square off in the finale of Lost Bullet 2 as Julia and Lino’s loyalties are tested.
Memorable Dialogue: “It’s because you’re stubborn,” Stella tells Lino when he calls to apologize for falling in love with her and potentially walking out on their life together because of his personal quest for justice. “It’s because you never listen to anyone still alive.” As Lino has continued to prove throughout these films, Stella does have a point about that last part…
Sex and Skin: Nothing here.
Our Take: After watching a frenetic film like the first Lost Bullet, there’s usually time to make a suggestion for the main character. “Hey, why don’t you take some time off? You’ve lost quite a bit of blood. You’re barely standing. And there’s a good chance you’ve subjected yourself to, like, six concussions.” But in what’s only the first of many savvy moves by writer-director Guillaume Pierret, Lost Bullet 2 offers its obsessive main character Lino no time to rest, propelling him almost immediately from a hospital recovery bed and into the center of a deadly one-on-four fight. A few months have passed in the official Lost Bullet timeline. But it’s been only minutes between its amplified and bloody action sequences. Ante, consider yourself upped.
And that’s really all that Lost Bullet 2 needed to do well. From finding justice for the death of his brother, to the status of dirty cop Areski (Nicolas Duvauchelle), whose stamp still bleeds all over the sequel’s proceedings even though he’s still on the lam, it’s the loose ends that Lino still pursues which knot him in all kinds of new trouble. And that sets off the sequences on which Lost Bullet 2 thrives. Here’s Lino, overmatched and outnumbered, dispatching four hoodlums with brutal and bone-snapping efficiency. Here he is starting a fistfight with one group of cops, then with another cop group, then with a combo platter of those first two groups, and finally with another set of cops, and did we mention that all of this cop fighting is happening inside police headquarters? That’s a location and tactic the first film employed, too, of course. But as he proves throughout Lost Bullet 2, from its extended fight sequences to Lino’s updated vehicle interdiction hooks – this time around, they’re electrified – Guillaume Pierret is always happy to return his one many army to the scene of the crime.
Our Call: STREAM IT. Lost Bullet 2 seems to pick up mid-fisticuff as it sends its scrappy main character back into the fray against the corrupt decision makers and deadly dirty cops who tried to deny him his personal justice. Aren’t these authority types tired of getting punched out by Lino?