Gun Shy (2017) Review
This action/comedy can't find its footing and fails to entertain.
Gun Shy is a 2017 action/comedy about an aging rock star whose wife is kidnapped while vacationing in Chile.
One probably can’t blame Antonio Banderas for signing on to star in Simon West’s Gun Shy, the premise certainly loaded with comedic and adventurous promise with Banderas probably looking for a chance to have some fun with an admittedly charismatic character. However, the film is a straight up misfire from the start, with bizarre performances and one failed attempt at funny after another, which is all rather disappointing considering the talent on both sides of the camera. This is easily one of the oddest movies of the year.
Turk Landry (Banderas) is a former rock god, the bassist for the heavy rock band Metal Assassin who left the band to marry his model girlfriend Sheila (Olga Kurylenko), a woman the media dubb his Yoko Ono. It’s not a stretch to say the choice was probably not the best. He now lives mostly in isolation, numb from alcohol, having not left his mansion in two years. He’s incredibly wealthy and bored, flamboyant enough to have his staff throw his wide screen television into the pool for him when he’s upset by what he sees on it. The two travel to Chile (his birthplace though he seems unwilling to embrace as such, claiming he can’t even speak Spanish) for a vacation in July (winter there) and he remains unmotivated to do anything but sit by the pool alone. She takes a sightseeing tour to see llamas where she is eventually kidnapped, and when the baddies realize who she is, demand a million dollars for ransom, a drop in the bucket for Turk. Comedy ensues.
It’s a little hard to find the motivation behind Gun Shy, a film that goes out of its way to be overtly absurd (a llama fights a gun-toting tourist with puke and actual punches leading to a fatal gunshot wound), and while it never takes itself seriously, also never really finds anything funny to do with the concept. Metal Assassin’s big hit was ‘Teenage Ass Patrol’, which tells you right away about the level of parody the movie shoots for, throwing in a string of increasingly weird characters and visual gags that never inspire any genuine laughter. Banderas certainly tries hard, spending most of the film in flowing floral robes and drinking lots of beer, bouncing about in a kind of stupor. It’s often hard to watch though as he’s never given anything funny to do as he struggles to give Turk any kind of personality beyond obvious rocker has-been tropes.
Meanwhile, Sheila is kidnapped by pirates who have only just got into the kidnapping business (nine hours in fact), building a relationship with head kidnapper Juan (Ben Carlo), giving them tips on the business when she sees how inept they are. Eventually, the kidnapping enlists the services of American government agent Ben Harding (Mark Valley), who believes the pirates are terrorists, and even though Turk has the money and just wants to pay them, he is held back by the Harding who says the money would be funding their cell. Now Turk has to figure out how to hand the money over in secret, but really you will have lost interest well before this point.
Simon West has had hits before, including Con Air and The Mechanic, and while these movies employ over-the-top action with humor, Gun Shy is surprisingly weak in comparison. Picture Banderas riding a wheeled suitcase down a steep hill avoiding traffic before falling into a fountain and you have the ‘comedy’ this movie has to offer. It feels like it’s trying to edge in on sharper material, such as Shane Black‘s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or The Nice Guys, but comes up wildly uneven and well below expectation. A poor entry, this is one to avoid.
Gun Shy (2017) Review
Movie description: Gun Shy is a 2017 action/comedy about an aging rock star whose wife is kidnapped while vacationing in Chi
Director(s): Simon West
Actor(s): Antonio Banderas, Olga Kurylenko, Ben Cura
Genre: Comedy, Action