In a year stacked with plenty of good crime flicks, you have to do something to make your film stand above the crowd. Fast-paced editing, well framed shots, stylized camera work and witty dialogue are all ways to help create a memorable film. While Cold Blooded does get a tad more brutal that most other films of its ilk, it’s just not quite enough to really make it stand apart.
Cordero isn’t such a bad guy. He steals diamonds, sure, but he’s not hurting anyone. Insurance takes care of the people he steals from and hey, he’s a nice guy. But when his latest heist goes south, he ends up in a hospital bed with a cop at his door and a murder rap around his neck. He also happens to be the only one that knows what happens to the diamonds and it’s for this reason that his partner Louis Holland is very interested to speak with him. The only things standing in Holland’s way are the cop checking people in to Cordero’s wing of the hospital and the cop guarding his door. While a quick bluff with another doctor can him past the first, getting past Officer Frances Jane could prove a little more difficult.
Cordero is a fairly interesting, well written character and actor Ryan Robbins gives a good performance in the role. The type of guy you might describe as “shady,” Cordero manages to remain pretty likable. Saddled with the bulk of the film’s humor, Robbins does a decent job with the quips and witty retorts. Unfortunately, his main adversary, the young policewoman played by Zoe Palmer isn’t quite up to the task of holding her own against the more charming Robbins.
Perhaps the biggest problem is that the majority of the film takes place in this single hospital wing, making it feel small and slight. It’s actually a bit of a missed opportunity. The gangster hunting down his partner could have been used to make the audience feel claustrophobic if we had any sense of the geography of the wing. As it is, we are told that there is one entrance/exit but have little idea of where the various rooms are in relation to that point. As a result, there is no tension or sense of closing-in from the location.
Cold Blooded is a decent if unremarkable cops and robbers film. The cat and mouse triangle between Holland, Jane and Cordero works pretty well. Writer/director Jason Lapeyre keeps the pacing tight and the running time short. The story is basic and the film feels a little slight but the performances are good for the most part and Robbins in particular shines. Cold Blooded is the type of film you’d catch on HBO late at night and watch the whole thing without getting bored or annoyed but then forget everything about it the second the credits roll.
The Upside: Surprisingly brutal, strong performance from Ryan Robbins, short and sweet
The Downside: Single location makes it a small film, Zoe Palmer occasionally drags things down, ultimately kinda slight
On the Side: Lapeyre also wrote and directed Fantastic Fest favorite I Declare War