400 Bullets (2021) – Film Review
Director: Tom Paton
Cast: Jean Paul Ly, Andrew Lee Potts, James Warren
By @Roger Crow
Two soldiers in Afghanistan face off against a group of rogue special ops and a cell of heavily armed Taliban. That’s the premise for the latest action adventure from Tom Paton.
I’ve got a lot of time for the guy who brought us sci-fi thriller The Ascent, and Yorkshire-made sci-fi offering G-Loc. With a modest budget and small cast, he usually manages to craft taut thrillers which often pack that all important sucker punch.
His latest is a typically lean, mean thriller. It largely takes place at a base with dodgy wifi and a small band of soldiers who spend a lot of time hitting each other with obligatory scenes of close combat action. It’s well put together, and Tom Paton makes the most of his limited resources to craft a modest but effective crowd-pleaser which genre fans should like.
Andrew Lee Potts is rather good as the heroic Noah Brandt, but as he’s been in the business for more than 30 years, there’s little wonder he looks so at home in front of the camera. A good turn too from Jean-Paul Ly as his fellow protagonist. You might not know the name, but he’s one of the best stunt performers in the business, having worked on countless high profile action films, such as the upcoming Dr Strange sequel, and The Batman.
And there’s a fine performance from James Warren as the guy who generates a lot of the drama inbetween the punches.
So while 400 Bullets is not the most unique action thriller out there, the script rings true and it’s hard not to feel for the heroes, especially as they spend so much time having to reboot their hub when the wifi goes down.
Tom Paton, who also edited the movie, ensures no scene outstays their welcome, and at a little under 90 minutes, it’s just the right length.