Saturday, July 7, 2012

Gunmen (1993)

Now here's one I discovered just randomly on KTLA one pleasant Saturday afternoon.  Gunmen is a boisterously over the top, entertaining action film that stars Christopher Lambert, Mario van Peebles and Denis Leary.   Lambert is Dani, a none-too-bright con man whose brother is killed by the deliriously over the top O'Malley (Leary) after he steals a ton of drug money from crippled crook Loomis, played by Patrick Stewart.

Dani wants the money as well as revenge and sheer coincidence, a maverick DEA agent played by Mario van Peebles is also out for the same thing.  They end up teaming up...sort of and for the majority of the film they bicker back and forth while shooting a bunch of bad guys and blowing a few things up here and there.

The movie doesn't get much more complex than that and frankly, it doesn't need to.  All the actors do their usual routines: Lambert is the jokey hero, Leary is the sardonic jerk (like most of his early films, he basically just does his stand up routine), van Peebles is tough and Patrick Stewart is just good.  He only has the character's Cockney accent every so often but I think the man has a good enough track record we can forgive him that.  Of those, Leary is easily the best, delivering his usual quality tough guy with a mean sense of humor.  He really does earn the movie an extra point from me.

I also want to single out Brenda Bakke as one of the single greatest (and by that, I mean worst) femme fatales I have ever seen.  As enjoyable as a good femme fatale is, seeing one who isn't quite as good at the job as she should be is even more amusing.  She's essentially Leary's second in command and is pretty much a complete psycho, shooting at the good guys randomly even though Leary needs them alive, stalking around at the end like a Terminator.  Heck, even Leary seems to react to her like she's just a psychotic idiot.   Bakke isn't much of an actress but she's very easy on the eyes and that goes a long way in a movie like this.

The main issue I have with the film is a general lack of originality and suspense.  You can pretty much predict every single story beat right down to the twists.  There is probably more humor than the film really needs and the script by future Mummy/Mummy Returns director Stephen Sommers is fairly lame.  That being said, Gunmen is a fun, agreeably over the top way to kill 90 minutes.  Just don;t go in expecting the next great action movie.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.