Retro Review: Way of the Gun

“Way of the Gun” is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie who wrote the critically acclaimed “Usual Suspects”. This is his first turn as director and it shows he has learned a lot from friend and “X-Men” director Bryan Singer.

“Way of the Gun” stars Ryan Phillippe and Bencio Del Toro as two modern day desperadoes who are very down on their luck. While trying to round up some cash at a sperm bank the twosome over hear that a millionaire is using a surrogate mother (Juliette Lewis) to have his much desired heir.

The two decide to kidnap the surrogate for money. After the kidnapping, the desperadoes are chased by the millonaire’s bodyguards and bagmen lead by James Caan and Taye Diggs. The plot thickens when the questions are thrown around who are the baby’s actual parents.

“Gun” has the flash and style of both Sam Peckinpah and Quentin Tarrantino.
The gun battles are fresh and original and are the worth the price of admission. In a lot of the scenes you can feel the power of the bullet’s impact and trust me there are a lot of impacts. These battles and square offs are great.

I liked the final 40 minutes which reminded me a lot of the good old westerns of yesteryear except this time people actually get shot and the characters feel the pain. I also liked the twisting plot which McQuarrie seems to have mastered with his scripts. I liked the majority of the leads performances who made the plot flow. I also liked the realism of the ending which was justified.

My biggest problem with “Gun” was the whole aspect of the surrogate mother and dragging a pregnant woman through an action film. It is imaginative to have this angle and twist the plot into who exactly are the infant’s parents but Lewis does get in the way a lot with her over the top performance.

I think the film would have been more interesting if the millionaire had an illegitimate daughter who was kidnapped. They could still twist the angles by making us wonder if the daughter is actually the millionaire’s. Just an idea.

(3.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

Written: September 11, 2000

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