Writer: Don MacPherson, Peter Travis, Sean Penn (Screenplay) Jean-Patrick Manchette (Novel)
Starring: Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba
Plot: A sniper on a mercenary assassination team, kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Terrier’s successful kill shot forces him into hiding. Returning to the Congo years later, he becomes the target of a hit squad himself.
Tagline – Guard the truth.
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Story: The Gunman starts as we meet Terrier (Penn) a mercenary whose cover as a humanitarian working in Congo who assignment was to kill the new minster of mining whose new policy could bring the country to its knees again. With the mission being a success, Terrier is forced to flee the country for his own safety. Years past and Terrier believes he is being followed and turns to his old friends who worked on that last mission, Stanley (Winstone), Terrance (Rylance) and Felix (Bardem) to see if anyone leaked the information about the hit.
Not knowing who to trust Terrier must race against tie to figure out the truth with his own life and loved ones lives on the line as the past continues to come back and haunt him.
Thoughts on The Gunman
Characters – Terrier is a sniper mercenary who poses as a humanitarian, he knows how to make connections and uses them to complete jobs, though his latest job turns out to be his last as he goes into hiding. Learning his life is in danger he goes in search for answers about who is after him, giving him a chance to see his love once again. Annie is the woman that Terrier must leave when he goes into hiding, the woman he loved, she has moved on though she still does love Terrier even after all these years. Felix is one of the connections from the job, he had always been jealous of the relationship Terrier and Annie had, leaving him to make his move once Terrier is out of the picture. Stanley is the connection in London that is a good friend that will help out where needed. Terrance is the one of the group which continued his success and knows who is still in the loop.
Performances – When it comes to performances we need to face the reality that Sean Penn is trying his luck at the Liam Neeson style of action film, he just doesn’t have the same levels of action in him and for the most part he doesn’t do anything to make us truly care about his character. When we look at the supporting cast on the male side we get four big-names we know do solid enough supporting roles, while Jasmine Trinca is solid enough as the love interest for Terrier.
Story – The story follows a mercenary that finds his previous job exposed to the people it has effective, but soon needs to learn who released the information. The was sold to be a fast paced action thriller, though the story is slow burning political thriller which focuses on the ideas that have been put forward when the rich try to control countries for their own means. The slow pace takes us out of the story because things just become boring for the most part.
Action/Crime – For an action film we get the very basic levels of shooting and combat which are covering up the bigger crime going on between the men.
Settings – The film takes us from growing African country that the Europeans and Americans are looking to take advantage off, to Europe as we get the locations that are designed to show us the hiding places are in every city.
Special Effects – The effects come from how the wounds look and that is about it, for the most part they are the strongest part of the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a slow burning action crime thriller that lacks any tension, suspicious about who the villain is and ends up playing out like a paint by numbers cliché.
Overall: Cliched and boring.