Friday, August 14, 2020

Guns Akimbo (2019)

Streaming Services: Amazon Prime Video
Movie Name/Year: Guns Akimbo (2019)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Altitude Film Entertainment, Four Knights Film, Hyperion Media Group, Ingenious Media, Maze Pictures, Occupant Entertainment, Pump Metal Films, The Electric Shadow Company, Particular Crowd, ADS Service, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Axinite Digicinema, Cascade Film, Golden Village Pictures, Gusto entertainment, Leonine Films, Lighthouse Pictures, Saban Films, Ukrainian Film Distribution, Capelight Pictures, Cinemundo, Première TV Distribution, Source 1 Media
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Writer: Jason Lei Howden
Actors: Samara Weaving, Daniel Radcliffe, Rhys Darby, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mark Rowley, Ned Dennehy, Grant Bowler, Hanako Footman, Josh Thomson, Milo Cawthorne, Set Sjöstrand, Racheal Ofori, Edwin Wright, Colin Moy, Jacqueline Lee Geurts, Aaron Jackson, Jack Riddiford, Richard Knowles, Bella Padden, Stephen Grey

Blurb from Moviefone: An ordinary guy suddenly finds himself forced to fight a gladiator-like battle for a dark website that streams the violence for viewers. Miles must fight heavily armed Nix and also save his kidnapped ex-girlfriend.

Cat’s Point of View:
I have been dying to see this movie even before I knew what this film was even about. Why you may ask? Ages ago, it seems, some images started circulating the net from this production, and a zillion memes were born. Okay, maybe not that many but if you’d like to giggle at a decent collection of them, you can visit here.

Needless to say, when the trailer actually launched those images made so much more sense, and I had even more reason to be all-in for watching this new movie. Former wand-wielding Brit Daniel Radcliffe (Horns, Swiss Army Man, Miracle Workers) has developed a certain flair for picking projects about as far removed as he can get from the genre that launched his career – and I love it. His choices tend to be daring and sometimes a little ridiculous, but one thing’s for sure - he’ll never get stuck in type-cast roles.  I digress…

Anyone who has ever spent any amount of time on the internet tends to become painfully aware of the presence of trolls. I’ve oft wondered just what would happen if the foul-attitude wielding keyboard warriors of the web were suddenly faced with real-world consequences for their bad behavior. This movie explores one of those what-if scenarios in a rather violent, yet entertaining way.

I’m not going to lie. There were moments that had my head spinning a little from everything going on but those were few and far between, really. There was a little shaky-cam but honestly, it didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. The pacing reminded me a lot of first-person-shooter games. This was quite likely intentional. There are all sorts of little references laced through, and not only FPS but other games as well– you can find a few references mentioned in IMDb’s Trivia for the movie.

I understand why a lot of people are giving the film a hard time, but it’s really not supposed to be anything deep. It’s a bloody action-comedy that’s seriously dark, but heavy on both the action and the comedy. The production value is fairly good – and unless you’re seriously watching the film for the sole purpose of picking out its goofs and flaws, it’s hard to notice them. I didn’t.

Of course, Radcliffe isn’t alone on the screen. Samara Weaving (Monster Trucks, The Babysitter, Ready or Not) was a stand-out for me with the intensity she poured into her role as Nix. She oozed crazy and deadly skill with nearly effortless abandon. I loved the way her character just seemed to revel in the mayhem and the fact that she wasn’t there just for the explosions and rain of bullet casings. (I also have vehicle envy.) I appreciated that an attempt was made to explain her break with sanity and the motive behind her relentless pursuit.

Honorable mention goes to Ned Dennehy (Mandy, Peaky Blinders, Outlander) for bringing a villain to the screen that reminded me of a methed-out Jigsaw (2017) while he pulled the strings of the game that seemed to be an amped-up blend of Nerve (2016) and the Crackle series Chosen (2013-2014) in concept.

I found myself thoroughly entertained by Guns Akimbo and wouldn’t hesitate to give it a recommendation for anyone wanting to take a momentary vacation from the craziness of reality to watch something even more bonkers. I’ll probably be watching this again soon.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 53%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 40%
Metascore –  42/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.2/10
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Movie Trailer:

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