You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘Gun Shy’

A leaden misfire that mostly shoots blanks when it comes to delivering the funny stuff.

Director:
Simon West
With:
Antonio Banderas, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Cura, Mark Valley, Aisling Loftus, Jesse Johnson, Martin Dingle Wall, Emiliano Jofre.

Official Site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3910736/

As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit lead player Antonio Banderas for providing a few random moments of amusement as a pampered and petulant burned-out rock star who’s forced to take action, or at least snap out of his self-centered indolence, when his ex-supermodel wife is kidnapped during their vacation in his native Chile. But, really, those random moments are not nearly enough to recommend this witless and graceless farce.

With his flowing locks and garish attire, Banderas often comes across as a walking and talking sight gag while portraying Turk Henry, the former bassist for Metal Assassin, a rowdy ensemble of headbangers whose hit list included such crowd-pleasing ditties as “Teenage Ass Patrol.” Ever since he was discarded by his bandmates, Turk has dedicated himself to slothful seclusion in his Malibu mansion, where he spends most of his days waxing nostalgic for his wild times as a hedonist rock star. Trouble is, his decadence has left him too depleted to manage much in the way of bad behavior: When he angrily decides to toss his big-screen TV into his swimming pool, he relies on his servants to do the actual dunking.

When Sheila (Olga Kurylenko), his enabling but not infinitely patient wife, suggests they get out of their rut and take a trip to Chile, Turk reluctantly — very, very reluctantly — agrees to the sojourn. Shortly after their arrival, however, Sheila is grabbed by a motley crew of first-time kidnappers (actually some financially strapped nice guys who revere Metal Assassin and know all the lyrics to “Teenage Ass Patrol”). The good news: Turk can easily afford to pay the $1 million ransom. The bad news: He’s repeatedly thwarted in his efforts to retrieve his wife by Ben Hardin (Mark Valley), a discontent functionary at the local U.S. embassy who thinks — or, to be more precise, hopes — that the kidnappers are terrorists. Even if they’re not, well, there’s a $1 million ransom to confiscate.

It’s entirely possible that more gifted filmmakers could have parlayed this premise into a genuine laugh riot. Neither director Simon West (“Con Air,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”) nor screenwriters Mark Haskell Smith and Toby Davies (working from Smith’s novel) are capable of providing anything other than shrill silliness amped up to 11 and beyond. It doesn’t help much that many of the supporting players — especially Valley, who’s rather too convincing as an obnoxious lout, and Jesse Johnson as a sexist Aussie mercenary — have been encouraged to overact at the top of their lungs. It helps even less that just when it seems the movie has mercifully drawn to a conclusion, it drags on for several more minutes of song, dance and broadly played tomfoolery during the unduly protracted closing credits.

Here and there throughout “Gun Shy,” there are snippets of a Metal Assassin music video for “Teenage Ass Patrol.” Maybe West and his collaborators should have simply stopped after completing that, and quit while they were behind.

Film Review: 'Gun Shy'

Reviewed online, Houston, Sept. 6, 2017. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 91 MIN.

Production: A Saban Films release and presentation in association with Carnaby International of a Salty Film production. Producers: Jib Polhemus, Harry Stourton, Simon West. Executive producers: Rene Besson, Cassian Elwes, Hannah Leader, Andrew Loveday, Gia Muresan, Sean O'Kelly, Alex Thoukydides, Jeremy Wall, Ahsan Zaman.

Crew: Director: Simon West. Screenplay: Mark Haskell Smith, Toby Davies, based on the novel "Salty" by Smith. Camera (color): Alan Caudillo. Editor: Nick Morris.

With: Antonio Banderas, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Cura, Mark Valley, Aisling Loftus, Jesse Johnson, Martin Dingle Wall, Emiliano Jofre.

More Film

  • Rashida Jones John Lasseter

    Rashida Jones Denies That She Left 'Toy Story 4' Over Unwanted Advance From John Lasseter

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

  • Dominique McElligott

    Film News Roundup: Dominique McElligott, Beau Bridges Join Boyd Holbrook's 'Two/One'

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

  • Coco Pixar

    John Lasseter Allegations Cast Shadow Over Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' Debut

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

  • John Lasseter

    Pixar's John Lasseter Was the Subject of a 'Whisper Network' for More Than Two Decades

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

  • Andy Serkis Flarsky

    Andy Serkis Joins Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in 'Flarsky'

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

  • John Lasseter Pixar

    John Lasseter Takes Leave of Absence From Disney/Pixar, Apologizes for Unwanted Hugs

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

  • at&t time warner merger

    AT&T-Time Warner Merger: Does the DOJ Have a Case?

    As overbearing as a Black Sabbath golden oldie but not half as funny, “Gun Shy” is the sort of leaden misfire in which actors labor mightily to transform themselves into cartoon caricatures in a desperate (and largely unsuccessful) attempt to make viewers think, despite all evidence to the contrary, they are watching a comedy. Credit […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content