Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
A French city planner enters a murderous new world when chosen by a possessed gun to dispatch bad guys.
Is it good movie?
Yann and Sarah are two people who, though they never met in life, both found equal dissatisfaction in their vocations: Yann is a city planner for a French city who feels stifled creatively and complicit in the corruption that goes on around him; Sarah was a whore who got shot to death by her pimp. Two sides of the same coin, really. Anywho, through a contrivance of events, Sarah finds her dis-corporeal essence housed in a 9mm handgun, and through a further contrivance Yann finds himself offing people (mostly his superiors) with said handgun. I just knew those two crazy kids could make it work out.
I couldn't reall do much with CALIBRE 9, unfortunately. Other than a few neat VIDEODROME references, most of its running time is taken up with frenetic shooting montages that add nothing to the storyline, and aren't particularly interesting or inventive. That doesn't mean they're poorly done, it just means they are not cinematic enough to merit the huge breaks in the narrative. Not that there's much narrative: Yann is unhappy, Sarah is a gun, some mysterious old cop gets the two together, and they kill bad people. I guess the shootouts are indeed necessary, lest the film be ten minutes long.
And the bad guys. Oy vey. They're all mustache-twirling, Simon Legree wannabes. Maybe the film was trying to be campy, or do a retro, 70's grindhouse vibe, I don't know. Either way, it failed. Not that any of this movie is subtle or contains a trace of nuance, but this over the top greed and rampant abuse of women kept firing my "bullshit" sensor. The movie does try to have a message, I guess, though whether that's anti-establishment, -corruption, -greed, or -sexism is debatable. Maybe all combined. Either way it's really just sort of a mess.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic widescreen, 2.35:1.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, both in French with optional English subtitles.
CALIBRE 9 doesn't outright suck, but for me was just too messy. It's ham-fisted and frenetic so you don't notice the lack of substantive plot, while trying to shove some wishy-washy morals down your throat. There are lots of bloodbath-y shootouts, so if blood for blood's sake is your thing, this film has got you covered. Those looking for something more aren't going to find it.