Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Movie review: The Gunman

Terrier is in the Congo as part of a mercenary assassination team tasked with eliminating the minister of mines. Completing the job forces Terrier into hiding, only to return to the Congo years later where one of his old team members makes him the target this time.

Sean Penn (Terrier), Jasmine Trinca (Annie), Javier Bardem (Felix), Ray Winstone (Stanley), Mark Rylance (Cox), Idris Elba (Barnes), Peter Franzen (Reiniger), Billy Billingham (Reed), Daniel Adegboyega (Bryson).

The Gunman begins well enough with showing us who Terrier is, and explaining the movie title just a bit. Once Terrier kills the minister of mining he must go into hiding to avoid retribution. Years later he returns to the Congo working to provide humanitarian aid but before long finds he is targeted, possibly by a member of his old team. Throw in a love triangle, some PTSD, and the movie morphs into something of a crime action film.

Acting was less than exciting in this one. Try as he might, Penn just can't seem to convey realistic feeling emotion, but they did do a decent job of making him into an action hero. Trinca was decent and seemed to work well with both Penn and Bardem. Bardem was well cast, playing the antagonist nicely. Winstone, Elba, and the remainder of the cast did okay.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were enjoyable with a fairly realistic feel. Camera work was solid, picture clarity was nice as was coloring. Action scenes were well done with pretty good timing and a realistic feel. Dialogue was okay but could have enjoyed more depth and emotion. Sound and soundtrack were okay.

The Gunman isn't a bad film, but it isn't worth reloading into the DVD player either. The story didn't quite develop the expected audience engagement, the plot got a bit thin after the first 20 minutes, and Penn didn't quite pull off his role. If you enjoy milder crime drama, or crime action, you may like this one.

With plenty of violence, foul language, and some sexuality, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 1.19.16
Star rating: 2 out of 5
Genre: Crime, Crime Drama, Crime Action, Action & Adventure, Action Thriller

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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