×

Film Review: ‘Hot Guys With Guns’

An enjoyable comedy-mystery set in the more privileged echelons of Los Angeles gay society.

With:
Marc Anthony Samuel, Brian McArdle, Trey McCurley, Darryl Stephens, Joan Ryan, Jay Huguley, Alan Blumenfeld, Kamar de los Reyes, Shaw Jones, Gregory Zarian.

Despite the pretty cheesy title, Doug Spearman’s “Hot Guys With Guns” is an enjoyable comedy-mystery set in the more privileged echelons of semi-closeted, industry-focused Los Angeles gay society. Starring Marc Anthony Samuel and Brian McArdle as a sort of West Hollywood Nick and Nora Charles, investigating a crime spree by “sex party bandits,” it’s an above-average piece of niche-audience escapism that balances banter, action and beefcake to pleasing effect. Pic should run the full gamut of LGBT fests, with good ancillary prospects and a chance at limited theatrical farther down the road.

Danny (Samuel) is an actor waiting for his big break while working as (what else) a waiter. Patrick, aka Pip (McArdle), doesn’t appear to work on much of anything, save his abs. Though still close, they’re no longer a couple, in part because Pip lives under the roof of his rich but crazy and blatantly racist mother (an over-the-top Joan Ryan). In preparation for a possible starring TV series role as macho African-American detective, Danny is taking a course in private investigation taught by gruff veteran P.I. Jimmy (Alan Blumenfeld).

The skills learned there come in handy when Pip begs his ex to help him solve a series of recent robberies — all of which took place at private, invite-only gay sex parties whose revelers were somehow rendered unconscious for a few hours while their homes and wallets were ransacked. The police haven’t been notified because there are too many “famous faces and names” (not to mention drugs) at the bashes, and such publicity would be a major problem. Beyond simply wanting to stop this spree, Pip hopes to get back an item of significant sentimental value. And while his short-attention-span and insensitivity (as well as his public makeout sessions with his new squeeze, played by Trey McCurley) regularly exasperate Danny, the residual spark still between them motivates the actor to help, however reluctantly.

Popular on Variety

Chemistry between the leads — as well between them and Blumenfeld as an even more reluctant, crusty heterosexual helpmate — is breezily bickersome in screwball fashion. Though Pip and Danny get into some increasingly dangerous situations, the pic manages to keep their amateur bumbling funny while downplaying the violence. The mystery itself is no great shakes, but “Hot Guys With Guns” is essentially a comedy in the guise of a thriller, finding room along the way for effective moments of drama, romance and insider Hollywood jokes, plus an opening sequence that gays up the usual James Bond sexy-psychedelic-credits cliches.

Thesp Spearman, in his first writing/directing gig, delivers a polished package on a low budget (purportedly $200,000), one that only palls a bit when occasional scenes peter out without much development or purpose. Still, the whole is likable enough that one hopes the helmer has a sequel up his sleeve.

Film Review: 'Hot Guys With Guns'

Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 22, 2013. (In Frameline, Outfest.) Running time: 110 MIN.

Production: An Ogden Group Entertainment presentation. Produced by Kelly Jones, Suzan Kaminga Jones, Mervyn Warren. Executive producers, Doug Spearman, Joel Heisey. Co-producers, Ben Patrick Johnson.

Crew: Directed, written by Doug Spearman. Camera (color, HD), Kelly Jones; editors, Christo Tsairas, Scott Draper; music, Mervyn Warren; costume designer, Lisa Norcia; sound, Thomas Orozco, Eugene Thompson, Mike Colton; re-recording mixer, Jon Lyga; supervising sound editor, Rick Larimore.

With: Marc Anthony Samuel, Brian McArdle, Trey McCurley, Darryl Stephens, Joan Ryan, Jay Huguley, Alan Blumenfeld, Kamar de los Reyes, Shaw Jones, Gregory Zarian.

More Film

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Reports Mixed Fourth-Quarter Results

    AMC Entertainment has reported mixed fourth-quarter results, which saw revenues rise 2.4% to $1.45 billion, despite a 4.4% drop in U.S. attendance to 62.3 million. The exhibitor, owned by Dalian Wanda Group, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $13.5 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $170.6 million, due to $84.3 million of expense related to [...]

  • 'Straight Up' Review: James Sweeney's Gay

    'Straight Up': Film Review

    There’s a tradition in movies, as vital as a hypnotic action scene or a swooning love scene, of dialogue so witty and nimble and rapid-fire that it comes at you like something out of a stylized dream. I first encountered that brand of high-velocity verbal jousting in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and later on in [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    French Film Magazine Cahiers du Cinema's Staff Quits Over New Ownership

    The future of iconic French film publication Cahiers du Cinéma is in question after the outlet’s entire staff quit in protest over the brand’s new ownership. The 15-member editorial staff has spoken out against a perceived conflict of interest posed by the Cahier’s owners — a group of bankers, tech entrepreneurs and film producers that [...]

  • John Singleton Victoria Mahoney Spike Lee

    In Honor of Black History Month, a Look at Black Directors Who Made History

    In 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported that 2018 was a historic year for black filmmakers, noting a “record high when it came to hiring black directors.” The report reflected a significant change, showing the push for diversity both behind and in front of the camera. Though the numbers are increasing, the report also [...]

  • Benh Zeitlin Wendy Movie BTS

    Benh Zeitlin Goes Old-School With Stunts and Puppets for His Peter Pan Film 'Wendy'

    It has taken eight years for Benh Zeitlin to deliver the follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2012 feature debut “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” But you could say the idea for “Wendy,” which reimagines the classic “Peter Pan” from the viewpoint of his female friend (played by first-time actor Devin France), has been percolating far longer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content