I want to start off by saying I watch every movie with a very open mind. This goes for Hollywood blockbusters, indie films, and even straight-to-Netflix movies. I always try to enjoy the film for what it is. I don’t expect action shoot-em-ups to be deep and psychological. I don’t expect romantic comedies to blow me away with stylized imagery. Even with all that being said, here’s why you should skip Gun Shy.
When vacationing in Chile, an aging and pampered rock star’s (Antonio Banderas) supermodel wife is suddenly kidnapped by renegades. Unable to navigate more than ordering a sandwich from room service, now he must take to the backstreets of Santiago in this hilarious caper that is as entertaining and it is hair-raising.
Turk Henry (Antonio Banderas) never bounced back after he left his rock band, Metal Assassin. His wife Sheila (Olga Kurylenko) convinces him to finally leave his mansion in Malibu to visit his native Chile. Even in his home country, Turk doesn’t want to leave the confines of his hotel, and insists he doesn’t speak Spanish. Sheila ventures off on a llama tour herself and is then kidnapped by some recent pirates. Turk must try to rescue his wife, all while an American agent tries to stop him in order to gain the glory for himself.
Looking down the list of actors, Gun Shy looks to be somewhat promising. Even though he is admittedly past his prime, Antonio Banderas remains one of my all-time favourites. In fact, I could throw on The Mask of Zorro right now and thoroughly enjoy it 19 years on. He plays Turk, an eccentric retired rock star who is completely disconnected from reality.
Olga Kurylenko co-stars as Sheila, Turk’s ex-supermodel wife. I loved her as the Bond girl in Quantum of Solace. She has this multicultural presence that can be simply fascinating to watch. This role looks perfect for her on paper, as Kurylenko is herself a former supermodel and a capable actress in her own right.
While not a castmember, Simon West sat in the director’s chair for this one. You may know him from the brilliant Con Air. West’s subsequent filmography is fairly prominent as well, including The Expendables 2. Overall, this sounds like the recipe for a great film.
Gun Shy is based on the book Salty, written by Mark Haskell Smith. I haven’t read it, but there are some noticeable differences nevertheless. First, the novel takes place in Thailand, not Chile. Secondly, Banderas is not overweight, nor does he party on topless beaches in this movie. Also, the book has received mostly positive reviews, sitting at a solid 4.5 stars on Amazon. So, once again, everything points to a promising movie.
Gun Shy Should Be Called Clickbait: The Movie
Looking at the cover of the Blu-ray, it seems like Turk will turn into this badass dude with a gun once he finds out his wife was kidnapped. I expected a story portraying his transition from hapless washed-up celebrity to ass-kicker. A yacht was supposed to blow up and Antonio Banderas was supposed to walk away with a gun in his hand.
None of that happened.
Instead, we got an annoying protagonist who spent the entire movie whining and complaining. The small bit of action was unimpressive, and the high-speed chase scene was Banderas sliding down a street on his luggage. The big shootout was an entirely uninteresting American agent shooting a taser at a walking Australian stereotype. Yes, it was all as lackluster as it sounds.
Some gags were silly and were on the brink of being amusing. However, most of the humour seemed uninspired. The comedic highlight was Turk’s young Chilean sidekick, constantly offering him beers. I always laugh at toilet humour, but even that wasn’t so great in this film. However, I will admit that the Metal Assassin song “Teenage Ass Patrol” is pretty catchy.
Essentially, you spend the entire movie waiting for something substantial to happen. The trouble is that it never does. In the grand finale, when Turk finally meets the pirates face to face, everything sort of fizzles and dies without a climax. I’m so disappointed because I really wanted this to be good. However, it isn’t even “so bad, it’s good”. It’s just bad.
Gun Shy hit Blu-ray and digital on 11/07/17. Have you geeks had a chance to watch it? What did YOU think?