Guillaume Pierret's Lost Bullet is an understated and efficient action film driven by a morose lead trapped by, and rallying against, his diminished station. Alban Lenoir's Lino is a former ram-raider recruited out of prison by Ramzy Bedia's Charas, a debonair police officer who leads an elite motorway interception unit. Lino's mechanical skills - such that he is able to transform a Renault Clio into a concrete crumbling battering ram - are highly prized by the older man. Unlike the other officers, who regard Lino with a mixture of suspicion and disgust, Charas engages with the man on a personal level, bickering about vintage cars then bending the rules to reward his hardworking charge.
Their relationship - certainly from the perspective of Lino - resembles that of a knight and his squire, one man with a secure, even special, social standing reaching out to knowingly elevate someone less fortunate. As the film goes on it becomes clear that Lino is not simply battling his heart out to keep his own head above water, he's fighting out of duty - an attempt to repay the debt he feels is owed to Charas. This note of chivalry reverberates throughout Lost Bullet, underscoring scenes of Lino butting heads and hammering through an assortment of flawed or outright amoral police officers. Lenoir, as a bruised up and bleeding ex-con in shabby hand-me-down clothes, is positioned as Lost Bullet's moral authority, the answer to the preening, letter jacket wearing, corruption of Nicolas Duvauchelle's Areski.