There can be times leading up to a film’s release that make it feel it will hit on all cylinders and can do no wrong. Unfortunately that is also the trickery behind a films advertising; to showcase all the highlights to lure the audiences in. The trailer for writer and first time feature director Frédéric Petitjean’s film Cold Blood shows a grizzled Jean Reno in what could pass as a continuation to Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional. Reno plays an assassin in hiding after his most recent job. His isolation comes to a halt though when he finds a woman in need of rescue after a snow mobile crash.
The premise behind the film as well as the beginning engaged me as a viewer immediately. However, as the film goes on I began to realize that I’ve been had. What felt like a promising film quickly falls apart at the seams and fails to make us care about any of the characters. I feel any connection to Reno’s character comes from Besson’s film especially since the relationship between him and Melody, played by Sarah Lind, comes off partially the same. Both character and story elements could have been elaborated on more as I felt a lot came off as artificial: cop with problems, hitman, someone on the hunt, “big” reveal. By the end of the film I was upset when the credits rolled as I felt I was given an incomplete story then also add in the fact the films ends with a cliffhanger. My only conclusion is Petitjean plans on a sequel or more as the original title of the film was Cold Blood Legacy but even if it that was true that still does not give this film a pass.
Reno’s Henry along with Melody and Joe Anderson’s Kappa all deserved a deeper dive into the characters and back stories which in turn would have resulted as a much more satisfying film. The film throws a twist midway through but I didn’t feel as surprised as I caught on early but even with that the story could have fleshed out more details than it gave. I kept wanting more but not in a good way; just repeatedly getting frustrated by the lack of story. I hope Petitjean can follow up with a stronger outing next time as both the look and tone were solid. Performances from Reno, Lind and Anderson were all engaging but it was the lack of motive or reasoning that left this film as a lack luster experience.
2 out of 5
Film Releases on VOD Friday July 5th