Movie Reviews

Published on March 20th, 2015 | by Neil Jordan

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The Gunman

Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!

Today, we have an action film on deck for you and ‘no’ it doesn’t star Matt Damon or Jason Statham. This latest film ‘The Gunman’ stars none other than Sean Penn?! Yes, Sean Penn has decided to step into the action genre in his latest film.

Starring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Jasmine Trinca, Ray Winstone, Peter Franzén, Mark Rylance, and based upon the 1981 book ‘The Prone Gunman’ by Jean-Patrick Manchette
‘The Gunman’ is set in the chaos that is modern Africa where civil unrest and war are day-to-day occurrences and western countries and multi-national conglomerates fight for control of the continent’s vital resources. Within this backdrop we find the character of Jim “Twink” Terrier (Penn). A corporate mercenary AKA security contractor on his last ‘assignment’ forced to leave
behind the woman he loves after going into hiding once his final assignment is complete. Now, years later after he has returned in secret to Africa he is forced go on the hunt again after nearly being killed and confront his former boss Felix (Bardem) who may or may not hold the key to finding those responsible. As in the world of espionage however, no one can be trusted. With corporate interests, international law enforcement, and his deteriorating health Terrier is racing against the clock to ensure that the world knows the whole story and perhaps find his long lost love before it’s too late.

Penn is obviously known for his dramatic roles. To say he is ‘legendary’ is pretty accurate.
After seeing this movie, I think it’s safe to say it’s likely we could see him in more action movies. The movie was a bit rough around the edges and perhaps 15 to 20 minutes longer than it needed to be. I felt like Bardem’s presence in the film was ‘wasted’. His character was quiet, spoke very little, and when they did give the character significant time in front of the camera he was drunk for most of it. Bardem has become legendary in his own right and I was hoping for a lot more for his character. The movie was NOT terrible though. One thing that impressed me was the fact that the filmmakers and the writers had the ‘guts’ to include mention of the type of thing that’s going on in Africa right now with corporations fighting for the continents resources and using the civil unrest to their advantage as part of the storyline.

All in all, I’d give the film 3 out of 5 stars. Catch the matinee or order it online. It’s not much when you compare it to something from the ‘Bourne’ or ‘Bond’ franchises. What you see in ‘The Gunman’ is the kind of action film that’s not outside the realm of possibility in real life.

On behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ this is ‘The CameraMan’ saying thanks for reading … and we’ll see you at the movies.

Second Review by Jennifer Fiduccia

The Gunman, stars Sean Penn as James Terrier, Javier Bardem as Felix, Idris Elba as Barnes, Ray Winstone as Stanley, Mark Rylance as Cox and Jasmine Trinca as Annie.

The movie starts out by showing the men all working together as guards for a humanitarian effort in Congo but we are quickly led to believe that they might also be ‘up to something’

Annie is Jims’ fiancé, but it is overly obvious that Felix is jealous and wishes she were his.

Our beliefs become justified when we see the group of guys get orders to assassinate the Minister of Mining, and its a sort of blind draw as to who has to do the actual shooting. Whoever gets picked must then leave the country. It is revealed that that is how Felix wants it to be.

Terrier draws the short straw so to speak, and must carry out the assassination, and then flee the country.

The movie then skips ahead to 8 years later, and sees Jim once again helping a humanitarian effort in Africa, digging wells.
As he works, his group is suddenly attacked by a group of mercenaries, and Jim manages to fight them off and kill them.

He then begins to hunt down his old team mates in an attempt to try and figure out who tried to kill him and why.

The action in the movie is good, and fast paced, the stunts were well done. None of the stunts seemed ‘unbelievable’ given the circumstances they were put in.

The relationships between the characters could have been better fleshed out, and I was confused most of the way through the movie as to who was after Jim and why, but I guess that was intended in the plot.

Overall, if you are looking for a decent action film with a bunch of shooting and car chases, this will fit the bill.

I’d give the movie 3 out of 5 stars, specifically in the category of ‘action films’.


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