‘Ello everyone! The Gunman? More like No Fun, Man!!! Unless you are super into Sean Penn’s aging strongman bod, this movie probably isn’t for you. His creepy old man face perched upon that ripped bod will haunt my dreams. Speaking of which:
- For some reason this film is about concussions. It’s like Sean Penn was watching a documentary about the NFL and thought to himself “do you know what this movie needs … me as an assassin in Africa.” It was also really bold to also make this movie about the dangers of HGH (you just got served Sean Penn’s bod).
- The movie could not be more muddled. Like … you know what the movie is about, but you are just hanging on by your fingertips. One trip to the bathroom and you don’t recover, you are lost for the rest of the movie.
- The acting is also bonkers at times. Idris Elba floats in just to spout monologues about treehouses, Javier Bardem is fake drunk, and Sean Penn is just ridiculous. They really just let loose. It was a bold move, and strangely kind of works. If Javier reigned it back just a smidge it might have worked out.
- And yet, I was mostly entertained for the duration of the film. The back third is weaker, I kind of wish they set most of the film in Congo, rather than moving around Europe. I’m surprised at just how poorly it did, seems like people really took the “Taken with Sean Penn” narrative and (unfairly) ran with it. The sheer number of moving parts and hidden subplots is actually a really interesting way to tell a story, even if it leaves you kind of floating and lost every so often.
I’m kind of digging the idea of taking a current totally unrelated issue (concussions) and cross pollinating with a movie idea (Taken). Let’s see. Current controversy: Affirmative action in American universities. Previous movie: Snake Eyes starring Nicolas Cage. The film takes place during the Superbowl (the biggest gambling day of the year) and corrupt police detective is there to oversee local law enforcement at the venue. During the course of the film it is revealed that the star quarterback (Tim Broady) of the Boston Pioneers is taking bribes to throw the game. But is the scandal all to cover an assassination attempt on the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (played by Nic Cage) prior to his ruling on affirmative action?! The answer is yes … yeah, it was all a cover for that. I’m going to call it Moneyline.
Wait, is Moneyline real? Like can I buy tickets for it right now?… someone tell me if this is real so I can buy tickets to it.
I’m going to keep this brief since Patrick covered the review quite nicely. I am pretty surprised that The Gunman got as bad reviews as it did. Did it have some overacting? Was it fairly confusing? Did it have a ridiculous subplot about concussions and CTE? Yes, yes, and yes. But was it all that bad? Not really. I actually kind of dug it. You see a contradiction here?
For this week’s game I’m going to do another BMTril-oh-geez. This is where I group last week’s film with two other subpar films that share a common theme of sorts to create a terrible, terrible trilogy that masochists can watch in their free time. Due to the extreme ridiculousness of the concussion subplot in The Gunman and the coincidental simultaneous release of the Will Smith vehicle Concussion (“Tell the truth!”), I bring you the BMTril-oh-geez official Concussion trilogy:
- The Gunman – obviously.
- The Ladykillers – arguably the worst Coen Brothers film to date, but it’s not the worst at having major characters with CTE. One of the band of thieves is a former football player named Lump who is pretty dim cause of all the concussions he had. Hilarious! Also funny sidenote is that J.K. Simmons’ character in the film is named Garth Pancake… meaning that with Unfinished Business it also makes two legs of the Pancake trilogy for films with characters with the last name Pancake.
- A Dirty Shame – John Waters made this little ditty where people in a town are slowly turned into fetishistic sex addicts through a series of concussions. No characters named Pancake to be seen though.
So there you have it. A true Concussion BMTril-oh-geez of mediocrity with The Gunman, The Ladykillers, and A Dirty Shame.