The life of a prostitute can be very abusive and quite ugly. When Sarah (Nathalie Hauwelle) decides to leave the profession, after having accumulated a nice nest egg to assist her with a fresh start, along comes her pimp Frank (looking surprisingly like Frank Zappa) who is understandably unhappy about this decision. A fight breaks out between the two resulting in Sarah’s untimely death. Luckily her final client, a Senegalese man with some sort of magical powers, finds her before her last breath and assists her into her next stages of life… as a gun. Such magic is apparently as easy as having some bloody ritual symbols on the wall, cutting open a dead hooker’s stomach and stuffing a 9mm pistol into the cavity to move a person’s soul into a deadly inanimate object.
Meanwhile down at the city offices, the mayor, a complete and utter dirtbag, is slapping around his secretary and peeing on her, city planners are taking bribes and Yann Moreau (Larent Collombert) is trying to do his job. Unknowingly, Yann has Sarah the pistol transferred into his briefcase by a fed up policeman before heading to hand out some paperwork to a corrupt builder. Moments before he’s gunned down by the builder’s thugs for disrespecting him, the pistol leaps from the ground to his hand and, under the gun’s willpower, they proceed to mow down a half dozen bad guys in a hail of bullets and crimson red. It’s here where this unusual relationship begins its violent path of retribution and justice throughout the city.
If you’re looking for a stylized and, yes, even absurd, action film, then “Calibre 9” delivers. Created by first time director Jean-Christian Tassy and looking like a hyper-kinetic music video, “Calibre 9” cuts from scene to scene constantly, sometimes feeling as if it’s afraid to linger, but oft times assisting in keeping up the tension and pace. And it’s not hard to make comparisons to the “Transporter” series, with Collombert looking like a less buff Jason Statham, blasting away, spinning around with his suit coat flying behind him. Any sort of connection to the real world is obviously non-existent in a movie like this, but this only adds to the over the top shootouts. Much like John Woo’s “The Killer” or “Hard Boiled,” bad guys and our hero alike never seemingly run out of ammo as they blast away like teens behind a video game controller. It’s all very fun and the interactions between a bruised up bloody Yann and Sarah and the public bring the laughs. This is a roller coaster ride of a movie that starts off insane and then ratchets up the crazy as it proceeds. “Calibre 9” is an unsual and fun action film with consistent performances across the board while presenting a unique story.