Thursday, March 19, 2015
The Gunman wastes its considerable talent on cheap and uninspired action.
Review by Matt CummingsIn Director Pierre Morel's The Gunman, Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) lives a double life: he's a security guard working with a humanitarian effort to build a runway in the violent Congo. But at night, he's part of a contract sniper team awaiting their next mission. Unfortunately, Jim's fallen for the aid worker Annie (Jasmine Trinca), whom on the night of the assassination he must leave without warning. Fast forward 8 years and Jim has returned to Congo to drill wells in an effort to balance both his violent past and curb his growing mental blackouts. But when a team descends on his workplace with the intention of killing him, Jim must uncover who wants him dead. Is it his former teammate Cox (Mark Rylance), his buddy Stanley (Ray Winstone), the aid-worker-turned-businessman Felix (Javier Bardem), or the shadowy DuPont (Idris Elba)? As the truth emerges and Annie's life is put in danger, Jim must revisit his deadly past and seek closure before Annie - and his own life - is lost. Skyfall, No Country for Old Men) and sometimes ending in disaster. Here, Felix is inexplicably drunk nearly all the time, and it's not long before we're actually happy that he gets the hook. His marriage to Annie feels fabricated, with any explanation as to why it happened in the first place reduced to a simple, "I owe him." It was nice to see a fresh face in Trinca but she's nearly 30 years Penn's youth and could have been Jim's daughter, representing another poor casting choice on Morel's part. This is perhaps the film's greatest failure, but one that could have been corrected, had the creative team pushed their action up and the cheesy dialogue out. Its failure becomes all the more pronounced when you consider it actually appeared on our March Films on Our Radar post, tearing away any hope we had for a great under-the-radar surprise. Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.