Writer/director Jason Lapeyre delivers a simple but fierce crime flick in Cold Blooded. This low-budget Canadian thriller is one of those movies in which pacing, dialogue, and the right cast bring life to a familiar setup. Think Die Hard, but minus the terrorists and replace Bruce Willis with a strong female lead. The premise is simple: A female police officer Frances Jane (Zoie Palmer ) is assigned the graveyard shift to keep watch over an injured jewel thief named Cordero (Ryan Robbins). As with so many low-budget pictures, Lapeyre keeps the action confined to one location. Fortunately, the film takes place in a hospital, which keeps things fresh, unlike the corpses which begin to pile up. In what quickly becomes a game of cat and mouse, Frances must find a way to stop third parties who raid the building, from assassinating Cordero while also keeping him in her custody. Amidst the chaos, Frances loses something very close to her that makes it extremely hard to do her job (no spoilers here).
Cold Blooded is a clean production, shot quite well with a chilly approach mirroring both the characters and the sterile setting. Although never extravagant, Blooded is utterly free of the incoherent action sequences and overcooked special effects that disfavor similarly scale independent thrillers. Lapeyre’s filmmaking might be by the book, but there is great promise here for the director if given a bigger budget for his next project. The cast is uniformly strong and Lapeyre’s script makes smart choices right from the start. The premise has a nice hook and the film is lean, clocking in at around 90 minutes. But the pleasure of this small, eccentric movie is with the performance of Zoie Palmer who quickly builds her tough-gal credibility with a display of swift blows and quick thinking. Cold Blooded is clinical and “indie” in feel, and while it remains to be seen where the director goes from here, he certainly makes a great first impression.