by Jef Burnham
Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and digital download from Image Entertainment.
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Gun opens on an illegal arms dealer named Rich and his associates shooting up a handful of people fleeing a club in order to take out the competition and become the #1 gun-runners in Detroit. Never mind that the majority of the people killed in this gangland execution were innocent bystanders, for we later learn that Rich, Gun’s protagonist played by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, had a really rough childhood. As such, he is free to lay waste to civilization (apparently). With a Detroit Police officer desperately trying to put together a case against Rich and an obvious rat in his midst, there are a number of secondary characters who could have been brought to the forefront and become the protagonist. This would have made Rich the antagonist and created that wonderful thing we call tension that allows audiences to take a vested interest in such a narrative— something that Gun fails to provide for entirely. So why make Rich protagonist? Would you be surprised to learn that the movie not only stars 50 Cent, but is written and produced by him as well? And it seems his narcissism going into this project was far greater than his desire to tell a decent story.
The plot is virtually non-existent, with the most important plot points relayed to the viewer almost exclusively through flashbacks and expositional dialogue; and the dialogue is absurd. The dialogue in the film falls into one of the following five categories: statements of the obvious, superfluous swearing, exposition, the ordering of drinks, and 50 Cent monologuing about the technical specifications of guns. Of these categories, I swear 50’s monologues about technical specs of guns comprise at least half of the movie’s dialogue— as though he scribed the film with a stack of gun magazines at his side to alleviate writer’s block.
The saddest thing of all is that the film co-stars James Remar, Val Kilmer, and John Larroquette, for whom I have a good deal of respect. And although Remar and Kilmer in particular give their all to make this a serious picture, their energies are wasted on such a misguided, half-assed script. Whereas I would normally turn to a making-of documentary or feature-length commentary to find justification for such a project from the mouths of cast and crew, this disc is unsurprisingly without special features.
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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