Film Review: Lack of Cohesiveness, Intrigue Stymies ‘The Gunman’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – If you’re going to see a Sean Penn action movie, I guess “The Gunman” would be appropriate. As he and the filmmakers inject some reality in the usual motivations, the puzzle pieces don’t connect well and in the end are not that interesting. That is not to say that the film is bad. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Sporting a body that he doesn’t mind exposing as shirtless while in his fiftysomething status, Penn is a thinking man’s action hero, part assassin and part humanitarian. It’s rather interesting that he kills someone Lee Harvey Oswald style, but after that the story devolves into a vague revenge on that hit, seemingly seven years later, yet with the same ripples over Sean’s muscly form. There are some good moments, including a booby trap that needs to be reactivated, but overall the movie almost dares you not to care, and the female lead follows suit.

Terrier (Sean Penn) is on a security team in the Congo in Africa. He loves a humanitarian doctor named Annie (Jasmine Trinca), and has a loyal colleague in Felix (Javier Bardem). The only rub is that Felix also loves Annie. When it is revealed that the “security team” is also a group of assassins, the hit is ordered for the Minister of Natural Resources. The gunman who pulls the trigger must leave Africa forever, with no contact with anyone.

Seven years later, Terrier is back in Africa, but this time giving humanitarian aid. While he drills a water source, he is attacked by a gang of killers. He goes on the run to London, and finds out from a fellow covert operator named Stanley (Ray Winstone) that the word on the street is that he will pay for his Congolian transgression. After seeking solace from a former team member (Mark Rylance), he flees to Barcelona, where Felix and Annie are married, and a curious federal agent (Idris Elba) needs his help.

”The Gunman” opens everywhere on March 20th. Featuring Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Jasmine Trinca and Mark Rylance. Screenplay adapted by Don MacPherson. Directed by Pierre Morel. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘“The Gunman”

Sean Penn
Man of Action: Terrier (Sean Penn) in ‘The Gunman’
Photo credit: Open Road Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘“The Gunman”

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