Friday, February 28, 2020

Guns Akimbo (2019)

Over the past weekend Jason Lei Howden said somethings on Twitter on both his personal account (which seems to have been removed)and that of the film and sparked a fire storm when he attacked several women of color (for a good discussion of the whole sorry saga go here). Numerous writers and outlets pulled their reviews because they don't want the director's film to make any money. I toyed with the idea myself but considering that the film is the work of hundreds of other people I am going to say a few words about it.  If I was certain that only Howden would be on the hook financially I would not review the film, but I suspect that is not the case. Obviously I don't condone what was said or done. Frankly I think what was done was the work of a childish horse's ass.

GUNS AKIMBO is about a character played by Daniel Radcliffe (in a great role) who is forced into playing a live streamed killing game after he posts a rude comment. Chased by a super killer who is being chased by the cops, Radcliffe fights to stay alive and keep his ex-girlfriend safe.

Crazy over the top with some witty exchanges, violent set pieces and headache inducing fast visual style the film is at best a time killer. Far from anything special the film suffers fro the feeling we've seen variations on this any number of times over the last several decades and especially the last few years (Think the various Death Race films though it goes back probably even earlier than 1965's 10th VICTIM, ) in addition to the fact that it borrows the visual style of so many recent comic based or influenced films as to disappear into the pack. This sense that we have been here before takes the edge off the proceedings since there are enough variations that we can plug and play it out in our heads. It still entertains but it never gets into out soul as being memorable.(I won't even get into the plot canyons such as the police ignoring people shooting it out with machine guns in the streets or their not trying to track anyone down when then can clearly see where they are)

Aside from the "been here done that" feeling the biggest problem for me comes from the wild over use of CGI imagery. So much of the cartoony violence in the  film is obvious blue/green screen work as to take any danger off of things.  Even all the blood and splattering bodily matter is all the result of post production. It would be fine but it is so noticeable as to be ridiculous.

While never bad it only raises to greatness in a few off moments or random shots. Yea I liked it but I can't see myself ever watching it again.

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