Too fast and too furious is how I would like to define Lost Bullet (Balle Perdue) (2020) by French filmmaker Guillaume Pierret. Hallmarked with chasing cars, a fast-paced narrative, and a lot of oh-wait-whats, the action thriller is certainly one of the best of its kind and will keep you hooked through and through.
Balle Perdue follows the story of Lino (Alban Lenoir)- a small-time mechanic who is caught during one of his routine jewel heists. Soon after, he is pursued by a cop Charas (Ramzy Bedia) who recognizes his skillset and offers him a job to advance the squad cars of the police force. While Lino is busy modifying the cop vehicles during the week, he still has to spend the weekends in prison.
When Charas sees the change of hearts in Lino, he gets him an early release and hires him as the squad mechanic. On one of the routine crash-site, Charas discovers an exclusive ‘injection diverter’ that was also seen in Lino’s car during his heist. When he asks Lino about the device, they figure that this could be Lino’s foster brother Quentin’s doing and that he could still be involved in heists. Hence, they set out to bring him on the right path.
When they meet Quentin at the specific locale, Charas and Lino find out that Quentin is involved with thugs and owes them money. The meeting gets violent but just than help arises from the police department in the form of Areski and Marco- two of Charas’ colleagues. A fight ensues and the gangsters are taken into custody.
Lost Bullet (2020) Key Events Explained
Why Did Areski Kill Charas?
Just when the violence had cooled down, Charas escorted Quentin into his car along with Lino for further questioning. Before the trio could set off, Areski shoots Charas point-blank from behind. Charas dies on the spot but Lino manages to escape the crime scene with Quentin.
The scene unfolds into a series of revelations about how Areski and Marco had schemed Charas’ murder in order to rule at the ‘brigade’ (police department). In fact, not just Marco, Areski had an entire task force dedicated to his mission that helped him go through the whole incident. The thugs- Kad and Jacques, burnt down Charas and his car to erase any evidence.
Meanwhile, Lino was arrested soon after at a local departmental store where he was trying to reach Julia (another cop who was helping Charas with Quentin’s case). Back at the police station, Areski asks Lino to fabricate his statement lest he himself will be the one held responsible in this situation. Despite the magnitude of Areski’s corps, Lino flees the police station determined to bring justice to Charas and implicate Areski.
How Did Julia Come Around to Believe Lino?
Julia (Charas’ colleague and friend) was certainly devastated at the news of Charas’ murder and the case was now being handled by a senior police officer- Moss. Lino secretly goes to meet Julia and tries to tell her the truth in order to get help.
While Lino was at the police headquarters to meet Julia, he saw the burnt car that was said to be Charas’. Because he had extensively worked on the car and had also spent time in it, he immediately realized that this was not the same. His doubts confirm when he couldn’t spot the bullet hole in the dashboard. He tells Julia about the same but not only did she not believe him, but she also tried to arrest him, although without success.
On the other hand, Areski manipulates both Julia and Moss by revealing a small piece of confidential information he had- which was Julia’s affair with Lino (probably in the past/ timeline unclear). He uses it to turn Moss against Julia so he could sideline her, find Lino himself, and put an end to his own crimes by falsely convicting him.
Soon after, the new mechanic at the police department tells Julia that Lino was right- the car actually didn’t belong to Charas. In addition to that, Julia also finds out that Areski was manipulating her. And so, it didn’t take her long to put two and two together. She was determined to help Lino by hook or by crook.
What Was Lino’s Plan?
After Lino had figured out that the burnt car parked at the police station wasn’t Charas’, he set out to find the original car which was an important piece of evidence to help him come clean and also expose Areski. When he meets Quentin next, he is pleasantly surprised to know that Quentin is the one who hid the car without the knowledge of Jacques or Kad.
While Lino is elated and is looking forward to putting an end to the whole fiasco, Jacques admits to Marco about the hidden car in a certain barn. All three- Marco, Lino, and Quentin, arrive at the barn at the same time to find the car. A violent encounter ensues in which Quentin is killed, but before dying, he manages to lead Lino to the original car.
Now, all Lino needs to do is to take the car to the police headquarters, show the bullet pierced in the dashboard and get freedom. But it isn’t that simple. Areski has been informed that Lino is coming with the car and so he sets up a blockade on the road that leads to the police station. How will Lino reach the station now, without getting killed by Areski?
Lost Bullet (2020) Ending Explained
Lino prepares for D-day in advance. Since he is an exceptional mechanic, he preps the car by securing the bumper with metal hooks and shields. What follows is an exciting chase sequence where Lino is tailed by a team of cops. But with his presence of mind and remarkable craftsmanship, he overthrows the police. In the meantime, Moss and Julia also get intel and they try to get to the scene to save Lino from Areski.
With little help from Julia, Lino manages to save Charas’ car and overthrows Areski on the road. Hurt and bleeding, Areski appears from inside the vehicle and makes a last attempt to destroy evidence by throwing a hand grenade in the trunk. Lino was distraught but he immediately got into the car and raced it to the garage where Moss and a mechanic put off the fire. Finally, a forensics team retrieves the bullet from the dashboard and proves that Areski was the culprit.
In the last moments of the film, we see Areski frantically packing his belongings and longingly looking at his wife and child before leaving the house. Lino is acquitted and granted freedom and Julia walks him out of the premises. Charas’ car became a memorial where people paid the cop their respects. Lost Bullet ends here, but it leaves a lot of questions behind- where was Areski going? Was he arrested and convicted? What happened to Marco who was left behind in the barn by Lino- his hands cuffed to a pole?
Well, the good news is that Lost Bullet 2 (2022) is also here to answer all your questions.