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The kind of role that Bronson excels at, but ultimately the film itself is a missed opportunity.
Charles Bronson is at his best when playing the silent tough guy, but in this British-backed chase thriller he is let down by workmanlike direction and a drearily routine script. Bronson's Phoenix cop, Charlie Congers, is certainly a silent and tough character - just the kind of role old Stone-Face usually excels at - but there are too many weaknesses in Love and Bullets to make it a particularly worthwhile film.
Phoenix police officer Charlie Congers (Bronson) is keen to gather evidence on Mob bigwig Joseph Bomposa (Rod Steiger). He learns that Bomposa's mistress Jackie Pruitt (Jill Ireland) is hiding out in Switzerland, so he jets off hoping to find her and persuade her to testify against him. Bomposa, realising that the game could be up, issues orders that Jackie must be silenced whatever the cost. Soon, Congers and Jackie are on the run in snowy Switzerland, with a whole bunch of hired killers hot on their heels.
Steiger is in over-acting mode here, but fortunately he doesn't have too many scenes so his opportunities to embarrass himself are kept to a minimum. The story is a simplistic chase narrative of a type seen many times before, and scripters Wendell Mayes and John Melson don't have many surprises up their sleeves to freshen this one up. Bronson fans like to see their man wasting bad guys and plunging head-first into action, but Love and Bullets pauses far too regularly for its own good and viewers looking for action will feel very short-changed. The film isn't a total loss - it has sporadic effective scenes, is always pleasing to the eye, and has one genuine moment of surprise near the end - but on the whole it is undoubtedly a lot less impressive than it could have been. Don't rush to add it to your wish list.
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