film reel image

film reel image

Friday, January 26, 2024

Calibre 2018 * * * Stars


"Go to the police? It will be considered murder". So says the character of Marcus in 2018's Calibre. He's probably right you know. I mean two strangers are dead and two other strangers who they came in contact with are alive. Bodies are moved, weapons are confiscated, no self-defense, crime scene is abandoned. Um, do the math.

Anyway movies like Calibre suck me in, they just do. We're talking swipe about ordinary people that unluckily commit an offense and find themselves tirelessly trying to get away with it. It's like a nightmare that well, you can't believe is happening. Calibre as a film combines the intense malfeasance aspect with beautiful cinematography a la the mountains of Scotland, UK. Its director (Matt Palmer) boasts a lot of tracking shots, medium shots, and wide-s via good old Jock country. Heck, he probably also saw A Simple Plan or even '72's Deliverance for some taut inspiration.

So yeah, here's the gist of Calibre: two childhood buds go on a hunting trip in the Scottish Highlands. Trip goes bad (har har) when one of them accidentally kills a human instead of a deer. Then said buds have to deal with the Mayberry townspeople when they get back to their hotel. These townies, well they're very prying blokes, asking questions and forming their own snarky, vigilante mob.

Animal stalking and boyhood besties aside, Calibre is a gnawing tort of a flick, intriguing, fiercely well-acted, and directed with a rather suppressed barbarity by Matt Palmer. I mean it mostly works until you realize that there are no law enforcement personas around. Nada, just these Scottish, denizen inmates who are clearly running the asylum (clearly). Improbable? Yeah, could be from a viewer standpoint. Advocated by this critic? Not entirely but I'm still recommending the thriller genre-recycled Calibre. "Livened ammunition".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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