Bullet Points: Gun Shy
Simon West is one of those directors who has a resume that is a real mixed bag of ‘excellent action movies’ and random episodes of shows I’ve never seen before. I think Con Air is an absolute masterpiece and will straight up Tong Po glue-on shards of glass fight you to the death if you disagree, but you also can’t sleep on some of his other films like The Mechanic, Wild Card, The Expendables 2, or Stratton. Okay, I haven’t actually watched Stratton yet but the trailer looks awesome and his track record shows that West knows how to make action.
Gun Shy looks to be a little different than some of his other action films. There is no doubt that it mixes lots of comedy into the action setting and while many of the films listed above are bereft of humor, Gun Shy does its best to keep the laughs flowing.
Synopsis: Turk Henry (Antonio Banderas) is an aging rock star whose music career took a dive after marrying the beautiful Sheila (Olga Kurylenko). Turk now spends most of his time lounging around drinking beer all day. It’s only after his wife threatens him that he decides to vacation with her in his native Chile. Still content to stay inside and drink beer, Turk isn’t present when a group of landed pirates abduct Sheila and some other tourists and hold them for ransom. Now Turk has to combat his own insecurities and a crazy American embassy official before he’s even able to get to the pirates who kidnapped his wife.
- Antonio ‘Too Sexy’ Banderas: Now that I’m seeing it on screen it feels like an aging rock star in the vein of a down-and-out Steven Tyler is the perfect role for Antonio Banderas. He has great comedic timing, which he’s proved over the years in everything from Play it to the Bone to Shrek 2. I’ve been a big fan of his since his days working with Stallone in Assassins and in Robert Rodriguez’s Desperado but this is a new era for the man. He’s no longer the big time action draw he once was and now he’s starting to edge his way into different genres. It might sound like a bad thing but I see it as a very good thing for Banderas. He’s super talented and still has a lot to give to the action genre.
- Rock Band Expansion: To my knowledge there hasn’t been an expansion including the songs from Turk Henry’s band Metal Assassin, but if there was it would definitely include their hit song “Teenage Ass Patrol”. If you haven’t yet watched the movie, then you might want to at least do a quick Google search to watch the limited amount of awesomeness that we’re given of the music video. It makes me long for the days of over the top rock stars covered in naked chicks and cocaine.
- You Call that a Vacation: Sheila, who is described as “Turk’s Yoko Ono”, decides to take Turk on vacation down to Chile in the dead of winter. Sure, wintertime there isn’t 3 feet of snow or anything but it’s still not the vacation paradise that many would want. The trip gets even worse when Sheila gets abducted by a group of fishermen and other out-of-work Chileans who turn to hostage taking as a way to make money. They had no idea who they were taking but when they find out they are determined to get paid.
- Chase Scenes: Turk obviously is working toward getting his wife back but he runs into an American embassy official who is determined to make his career on this bust. He’s convinced it’s a terrorist cell kidnapping people and won’t risk Turk or his newly hired crew getting in the way of his promotion. The official is played by Mark Valley, maybe best known from his starring role in the show Human Target, and is excellent in his role as the moronic Ben Harding.
- Rock and Roll: Despite Gun Shy’s poster, the actual movie doesn’t have Antonio Banderas finding his Mariachi guitar case full of guns or aiming and firing a glock at someone. It’s not a new technique to have the poster paint a portrait of a movie that doesn’t really exist but in this case it’s a bit sneaky. Gun Shy has much more comedy than it does action. It’s probably not what anyone would have expected from director Simon West but the finished product never turns bumbling idiot Turk Henry into badass Turk Henry. Don’t take this as a major complaint, though, because the best parts of Gun Shy are when it’s being funny so even if you’re watching it to be entertained by the action, you’ll still likely enjoy the jokes about dildos.
Don’t be shy…check out these bonus Bullet Points:
- Interesting Chad Cruise Fact: I have dated no less than two women who have owned llamas. Also very interesting, llamas are proud beasts and take no shit from anyone!
- Turk’s map reading skills are a bit lacking, to say the least.
- Turk’s song about losing the most important thing in his life is really touching. It would have been more touching if it wasn’t about losing the use of his penis.
The Verdict: Simon West knows how to do action sequences and Antonio Banderas is always charming and charismatic. Mark Valley is very good in his role and you may not find a bigger fan of Olga Kurylenko around. The movie had all the elements of an awesome find for me if only it had a little more action. Martin Dingle Wall shows up towards the end of the movie and offers even more of the funny but I would have been even more happy if he had taken down a gang hideout in an attempt at a rescue, only to find out it was the wrong gang. Wall really was one of my favorite parts of a movie that I already enjoyed but I’m going to need to see some more action from my man Simon West the next time out.