Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

My glorious weekend trip around the world continues as I have knocked off Korea, China, Romania, Italy, Japan and Spain with our journey’s taking us a little closer to home dropping us off in the Quebec Province of Canada. At first glance while looking at ‘Nitro’ I was guessing that our friends to the north were attempting to see if they could be Fast and Furious, but after actually watching the film it seems what we have here is a bit of a morally ambiguous drama with a few action sequences sprinkled in, as opposed to a balls to the wall action movie.

Guilluame Lemay Thivierge assumes the role of Max, a hard working construction worker who we first meet in the films opening scene as a completely out of control, drunken street racer who just won a race against the crazy hot Morgane (Lucie Laurier) which ultimately leads to him catching a knee in the nutsack. But that was years ago and the old Max. The New Max is the father of cutest little boy in town, a husband, and honest tax paying member of society. But there is tragedy in Max’s life as his lovely wife Alice (Myriam Tallard) has been ill for sometime, actually she’s had a defective heart since before Max even met her, but now her ailing heart has taken all it can tolerate as Alice lies in a coma, awaiting a donor that seems never will come. Due to a setback in Alice’s condition, it seems now that she has mere days to live unless a donor can found immediately leaving the grieving Max and his cute little boy with few options.

Few options doesn’t mean no options however, as Max has worked out a deal with the Organ donation coordinator (Real Bosse) where he slips the man a little a cash and he brings in a compatible heart for his ailing wife. Spare hearts just aren’t flopping around in the streets and they do tend to be attached to living people, so I’m curious to see just how Max plans to pull off this little plan of his. First Max has to enter some illegal drag

races, returning to his old persona of Mad Max, to get his initial outlay of cash. With that out of the way now Max needs to find a ‘donor’. Now Mad Max has assumed the role of God and has made a visit to an old nemesis of his known as ‘The Lawyer’ (Martin Matte) who Max informs anybody who will listen that this lawyer cat is the head of an organization that sells drugs to children and are just overall very bad people. So through of series of rather spectacular events Max finds himself with a compatible heart for his wife, but it seems that some people just aren’t too happy with ‘Forcible Heart Theft’ and now the chase is on as Max runs via foot, motorbike or whatever functional motor vehicle he can get his hands on, along with the sudden reuniting of his ex-girlfriend, the previously mentioned and still very, very hot Morgane, in a race against time to try to get this heart back to his wife’s surgeons before time runs out.

First let me tell you that this film directed by Alain Desrochers is almost completely morally bankrupt. The formula for action movies is usually a fairly simple one in that you have a hero, one who is usually flawed but does live by some moral code, and then in most cases we have this hero or heroine kick much ass. Desrochers, who also co-wrote the script has created a hero that is impossible to root for, and if you can’t root for a hero in a relatively mindless action movie, then that movie serves very little purpose. The narrative of ‘Nitro’ isn’t near strong enough to override our lead character’s surly behavior, anti-social tendencies and criminally murderous decisions, as this is an action film and not a character study. No, Max’s character, nor anybody’s character in this movie wasn’t developed enough to justify this kind of narrative. I don’t think under any circumstances, no matter what the intentions, is murder justifiable and though there were some light discussions about that, it didn’t help smooth out the bumpy, dangerous road that this story chose to travel.

Then there was this conclusion which was so crazy and so out of left field that it almost renders what we watching up until this point just even more questionable. There was absolutely nothing in the film that I can wrap my fingers around that brought any enjoyment in watching it. Other than looking at Lucie Laurier of course. We first saw her in ‘Bon Cop / Bad Cop’, a much, much better mindless action flick out of Quebec might we add, and we noted that Lucie was easy on the eyes in that as well. The only thing that ‘Nitro’ has over that flick is that there more Lucie to look at, and that’s it. The action was decent, but then if a character that you care little about is in a death defying car chase, him surviving means very little to you and you don’t root for him. This is mindless action flick 101 we’re talking here.

As if you couldn’t tell I kind of despised this movie because in the effort of trying to turn the genre on end, which is admirable, the basics of character still apply and this simple rule was left somewhere on the cutting room floor of ‘Nitro’. An extremely disappointing film.

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