by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
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Guns is the story of four families caught up in illegal gun trafficking and how their actions affect their lives, as well as innocent lives around them. Guns simply tells the story “of the people who traffic guns, the cops who are trying to catch them and the people who get caught in the crossfire.”
The main family in this saga is British expatriate Paul Duguid, who’s a legitimate arms dealer and perceived outstanding citizen, who makes money on the side by selling illegal weapons to streets thugs. This commerce runs from the streets of Toronto, to Dayton, Ohio, and all the way to the front lines with armed thugs in Uganda.
Guns is set in Canada, and one segment shows how innocent, law-abiding citizens are bribed into going into Ohio to buy guns. Paul warns his son about the company he’s keeping, but Bobby is stubborn. He slowly but surely involves his girlfriend, Frances, into this trade, enlisting her to travel to Ohio to purchase arms, but soon this practice proves too risky and complicated. Frances gets caught with all types of firearms—from handguns to machine guns—in her trunk as she’s trying to manage her way through customs. She’s arrested and faces a long jail sentence for gun smuggling, and she soon discovers that she has to figure out her next step on her own.
One early casualty of the violence associated with all the guns on the street is the accidental shooting of a young girl, who’s out with her mom watching street entertainers one afternoon. Someone suddenly begins shooting, aiming for one of the young men, and the young girl is felled by the bullet and doesn’t survive. The parents are tormented throughout, until they receive redemption toward the end of the movie.
It’s interesting to watch the dynamic between father and son, as the son gets deeper into trouble, and eventually the tables are turned and he must make hard, fast decisions about his future. The relationships between the gang bangers as well are interesting to watch as they unravel and thug is pitted against thug.
Paul Duguid is played by Colm Feore, recently of the “24” series, and Bobby’s girlfriend, Frances is played by Elisha Cuthbert, also of “24.” Bobby Duguid is played by Gregory Smith of “Everwood.” Other actors include Shawn Doyle, Lyriq Bent and K.C. Collins.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.
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