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Review: The Gunman

The Gunman
03.17.2015
2 10

PLOT: A one time sniper hoping to escape his checkered past finds himself the target of a mysterious enemy. Can he find out just who has targeted him, and will he be able to save his hot ex-girlfriend while doing so?

REVIEW: If you are Sean Penn and you happen to be in great shape, why not try your hand at being an action star? Gather a top-notch cast, bring on the director of TAKEN and even hire a hot actress to play the love interest. Perhaps though, get a script that isn’t a hodgepodge of action movie cliches and more importantly, don’t make it so utterly boring. When all you do is focus on a painfully uninteresting love triangle for about forty minuets or so, and then finally get to the action, you know you are in for something shockingly dull. Even at Liam Neeson’s worst (TAKEN 3) it is still better than Sean Penn as THE GUNMAN.

In this overly convoluted tale, Sean Penn portrays Jim Terrier, an ex-special forces government contractor who is involved in some serious business. After he is assigned to pull the trigger on the Minister of Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he must disappear from the aftermath. The successful assassination leaves the area in the midst of genocide and civil war. Eight years later, we find Terrier assisting with providing clean water for an African village - because you know, he is a nice guy. When a group of men show up looking to kill Terrier, he is able to escape to warn the men with whom he conspired with so many years before. Javier Bardem stars as Felix and Mark Rylance as Cox, the ex-partners, with the very pretty Jasmine Trinca as the love interest who Felix has taken in for his own.

Where to begin… As I sat taking in THE GUNMAN, and watching Sean Penn constantly shirtless, it seemed to take forever to really become an action film. As mentioned, the movie spends way too much time with Annie in the middle of Felix and Terrier, yet there is nothing dynamic about the relationship. It was impossible to care about any of these three characters. Even the usually great Bardem is wasted here as he spends one important scene spouting his own drunken, lovelorn heartbreak. So much time is wasted on this excruciatingly bland sub-plot that is really slows this story to a halt. When Annie is ultimately placed in peril, I didn’t really care whether she made it out at all. It’s not necessarily the fault of the actress, but she just didn’t have any fire or chemistry with either Penn or Bardem.

Pierre Morel knows how to create some very exciting on-screen action, so what happened here? Sure you have a couple of cool moments, with Terrier and Annie trying to escape while trapped in a bathroom, and even an unintentionally funny bullfight sequence. Yet the script features a ton of inept bad guys who have terrible aim. The fighting is oddly choreographed with too many quick cuts, and the machismo posing of Penn. This is especially ludicrous during one of the final battles, where Penn is once again shirtless underneath his bulletproof vest. Yeah, we get it, you are in great shape! And when we finally have the main villain spouting off his talking killer monologue, you think you are in for the last conflict. Nope, it keeps going on and on. This is just a mess of a movie.

Aside from a couple of cool shots, the only real bright spots here happen to be the casting of both Ray Winstone and Idris Elba. The two actors have very minor roles, but they both prove to be pretty entertaining while on-screen. Of course neither of them can save this incredibly boring story. The convoluted script is credited to Don MacPherson, Pete Travis and Sean Penn. Yep, Sean Penn is credited with the film but not on IMDB. Who knows what happened here, but there is so much going on, and every detail is so sloppily handled, you have to question who was involved with what. They even have Terrier dealing with some sort of brain disorder that occasionally pops up as a dumb plot device.

THE GUNMAN has a ton of problems, but the biggest one is that it’s so damn flat. After about a half hour I found myself wondering how much longer it would last. With false ends, characters devoid of personality and a major lack of humor or fun, there is very little to recommend. If you are a fan of the cast - and honestly who isn’t - you might want to check it out just to see the moments of unintentional hilarity. Sean Penn looks the part, and perhaps with a better script he may be able to take on the gruff, aging action hero, but this isn’t the movie to do it. This is a dull and convoluted mess that takes too long to get going, and unfortunately keeps going and going and going until the silly finale. What a waste of talent.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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+2
12:46AM on 03/18/2015

Sean Penn = HYPOCRITE

You couldn't pay me to watch this movie. The guy is so outspokenly Liberal it's obnoxious. That probably wouldn't bother me as much if he had a HS diploma and didn't rail against guns but star in something like this. Yeah, no thanks.
You couldn't pay me to watch this movie. The guy is so outspokenly Liberal it's obnoxious. That probably wouldn't bother me as much if he had a HS diploma and didn't rail against guns but star in something like this. Yeah, no thanks.
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7:40PM on 03/17/2015

Gun Pens

Sean Penn as an Action Hero has to be a joke. Mr. Anti-gun/ Anti-American who loves dictators around the world is now going to save the day? I hope he didn't invest any Haiti Relief Funds to make this Stinker.
Sean Penn as an Action Hero has to be a joke. Mr. Anti-gun/ Anti-American who loves dictators around the world is now going to save the day? I hope he didn't invest any Haiti Relief Funds to make this Stinker.
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+2
6:37PM on 03/17/2015
Movie looks terrible.
Movie looks terrible.
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3:42PM on 03/17/2015
I like Sean Penn as an actor, but I knew this would run the risk of being too serious with him in the lead. I did have hope for this until I was alerted by another review that Penn had a hand in the script. Hey, I love Indian Runner, The Pledge, and Into the Wild, but even the most serious action movie needs a lighter tone than that. I don't think him being anti-gun has ever stopped him from using them to good effect in movies before, so I'd keep that little morsel out of the complaints to be
I like Sean Penn as an actor, but I knew this would run the risk of being too serious with him in the lead. I did have hope for this until I was alerted by another review that Penn had a hand in the script. Hey, I love Indian Runner, The Pledge, and Into the Wild, but even the most serious action movie needs a lighter tone than that. I don't think him being anti-gun has ever stopped him from using them to good effect in movies before, so I'd keep that little morsel out of the complaints to be levied here.
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+2
2:56PM on 03/17/2015
Why? Whatīs so hard making a halfaway decent action movie? First that bland Kevin Costner movie, than Taken 3, now this turd. Itīs not like Taken was any form of higher art or brain surgery so what the fuck???
Why? Whatīs so hard making a halfaway decent action movie? First that bland Kevin Costner movie, than Taken 3, now this turd. Itīs not like Taken was any form of higher art or brain surgery so what the fuck???
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+3
2:46PM on 03/17/2015

Too funny.....

Couldn't happen to a better guy.
Couldn't happen to a better guy.
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3:13PM on 03/17/2015
why so full of hate des?
why so full of hate des?
7:47PM on 03/17/2015
Des1......I agree completely.
Des1......I agree completely.
1:54PM on 03/17/2015
Wow. 2/10? That's disappointing, given the cast.
Wow. 2/10? That's disappointing, given the cast.
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1:52PM on 03/17/2015
Never saw anything good about sean penn....dont know what Charlize sees in him....she can do so much better ....
Never saw anything good about sean penn....dont know what Charlize sees in him....she can do so much better ....
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1:50PM on 03/17/2015

Sean Penn has officially "gone flat"

Welcome to DVD hell where all of your new movies will only be released.

Stick to directing, unless you want to finally make Spicoli's Big Adventure...
Welcome to DVD hell where all of your new movies will only be released.

Stick to directing, unless you want to finally make Spicoli's Big Adventure...
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1:34PM on 03/17/2015
"In this overly convoluted tale, Sean Penn portrays Jim Terrier, an ex-special forces"

Lol... In a nut shell. Love Liam Neeson, but between him, Sean Penn, and Jim Carrey in Kick Ass...stop casting anti-gun liberal Hollywood elites in these type of roles. Gosh
"In this overly convoluted tale, Sean Penn portrays Jim Terrier, an ex-special forces"

Lol... In a nut shell. Love Liam Neeson, but between him, Sean Penn, and Jim Carrey in Kick Ass...stop casting anti-gun liberal Hollywood elites in these type of roles. Gosh
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1:53PM on 03/17/2015
derp derp derp Liberals... LOL, it's not the actor, but the studios that cast competent well versed actors in projects that should be straight to Dtv ideas starring Steven Segal or Jeff Speakman.
derp derp derp Liberals... LOL, it's not the actor, but the studios that cast competent well versed actors in projects that should be straight to Dtv ideas starring Steven Segal or Jeff Speakman.
2:50PM on 03/17/2015
Really? It's not the Liberal anti-gun actor who spends all his time demonizing people he's never met in an attempt to prove how enlightened he is? It's the studio's fault for casting him and not worrying about his background or the potential for him coming out before the film and saying nobody should see it because he doesn't approve of the violence?

Speaking of derp, derp, derp.
Really? It's not the Liberal anti-gun actor who spends all his time demonizing people he's never met in an attempt to prove how enlightened he is? It's the studio's fault for casting him and not worrying about his background or the potential for him coming out before the film and saying nobody should see it because he doesn't approve of the violence?

Speaking of derp, derp, derp.
1:33PM on 03/17/2015
"In this overly convoluted tale, Sean Penn portrays Jim Terrier, an ex-special forces"

Lol... In a nut shell. Love Liam Neeson, but between him, Sean Penn, and Jim Carrey in Kick Ass...stop casting anti-gun liberal Hollywood elites in these type of roles. Gosh
"In this overly convoluted tale, Sean Penn portrays Jim Terrier, an ex-special forces"

Lol... In a nut shell. Love Liam Neeson, but between him, Sean Penn, and Jim Carrey in Kick Ass...stop casting anti-gun liberal Hollywood elites in these type of roles. Gosh
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1:34PM on 03/17/2015
Why the heck did I select "I'm hip to this news"
Why the heck did I select "I'm hip to this news"
2:29PM on 03/17/2015
Yeah, let's cast those pro-gun conservative Hollywood elites.
Yeah, let's cast those pro-gun conservative Hollywood elites.
+2
1:00PM on 03/17/2015
Was expecting it to be bad, but a 2/10? Damn. Kinda hate Sean Penn anyway. Only sucks for Elba, who I wanna see do well. Great actor, certainly underrated.
Was expecting it to be bad, but a 2/10? Damn. Kinda hate Sean Penn anyway. Only sucks for Elba, who I wanna see do well. Great actor, certainly underrated.
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11:56AM on 03/17/2015
As soon as I heard them using Kid Rock's hated Undertaker theme music in the trailers/ tv adds, I knew it was probably crap.
As soon as I heard them using Kid Rock's hated Undertaker theme music in the trailers/ tv adds, I knew it was probably crap.
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11:23AM on 03/17/2015

Surprised

out of all of the vehicles riding Taken's coat tails i figured this one had a chance. Oh well, I guess Penn can go back to dramatic roles.
out of all of the vehicles riding Taken's coat tails i figured this one had a chance. Oh well, I guess Penn can go back to dramatic roles.
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11:00AM on 03/17/2015
Only 2/10? Jeez!
Only 2/10? Jeez!
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+5
10:51AM on 03/17/2015
Hate Sean Penn. Not surprised this turned out to be trash.
Hate Sean Penn. Not surprised this turned out to be trash.
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11:09AM on 03/17/2015
I'm not either!
I'm not either!
10:45AM on 03/17/2015

2/10

Wow. Wasn't expecting a 10/10 but 2/10 is surprising
Wow. Wasn't expecting a 10/10 but 2/10 is surprising
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