×
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

  • Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home

    Film News Roundup: Miramax Developing 'I Won't Be Home for Christmas'

    In today’s film news roundup, “I Won’t Be Home for Christmas” is in the works, the NFL has made a documentary about female team owners and D Street Pictures has signed Kenny Gage and Devon Downs to direct the dance feature “Move.” HOLIDAY PROJECT More Reviews Concert Review: Yoko Ono Earns a Wide-Ranging, All-Female Salute [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan arrives at the

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Warner Bros.' 'Methuselah' Movie

    Michael B. Jordan will produce and star in a “Methuselah” movie for Warner Bros., based on the Biblical story of a man who lived to be 969 years old. Jordan will produce through his Outlier Society production company along with Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. More Reviews Concert Review: Yoko Ono Earns a Wide-Ranging, [...]

  • Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping

    Davids Chief Piera Detassis on Revamping Italy's Top Film Awards

    Piera Detassis recently became the first woman to head the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s equivalent of the Oscars. Since then she’s been busy overhauling the inner workings of the prizes that will be awarded on Wednesday. Detassis, also the editor of Italian film publication Ciak, spoke exclusively to Variety about the challenges she’s faced [...]

  • Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards

    Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman' Leads Davids Awards Race

    With 15 nominations Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman” leads the pack of contenders for Italy’s David di Donatello Awards in a watershed year for the country’s top film nods that sees highbrow auteur titles reaping most of the David love just as local box-office grosses hit an all-time low. Garrone’s gritty revenge drama is followed closely with [...]

  • steven spielberg Apple TV Plus

    Steven Spielberg's Apple Appearance Riles Up Social Media: 'Big Old Mixed Message'

    Many Hollywood heavyweights flocked to Apple’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters to help reveal the tech giant’s revamped steaming service Apple TV+ on Monday — but one such legend was so polarizing he became a national trending topic on Twitter for simply showing his face. Steven Spielberg was the first to appear in a dramatic short film [...]

  • Michael Lynne

    Former New Line Co-Chairman Michael Lynne Dies at 77

    Michael Lynne, the former co-chairman of New Line Cinema who played a key role in shepherding “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, has died at his New York home. He was 77. Lynne’s death was confirmed Monday by longtime business partner Robert Shaye, who told Variety that Lynne’s family had informed him of Lynne’s passing [...]

  • Marisa Liston

    Sony Veteran Marisa Liston to Lead Lionsgate Movie Publicity

    Lionsgate has named Sony Pictures veteran executive Marisa Liston to lead all feature film and motion picture group publicity and communications strategy. Liston, who departed Sony in late 2018 after 17 years, has been assigned the newly created title of head of global earned media and communications. She will oversee domestic and international feature film [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content