'The Gunman' opens with the BBC footage that civil war has erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo between rebel militia and governmental forces locked in a bloody civil war for the control of the country's prized natural resources. Enter Jim Terrier (Sean Penn), a NGO worker providing security while an airstrip is being built. In the middle of chaotic Congo, Jim has fallen in love with Annie (Jasmine Trinca), a Doctors Without Borders volunteer. Annie has attracted the heart of not only Jim but also co worker Felix (Javier Bardem). Felix's jealousy is readily apparent and can only spell disaster for Jim and Annie's relationship. Only a few minutes into the film we discover that both Jim and Feliz are living dual lives. Jim is a hired assassin for a multinational mining company, which is set on protecting their interests in the war torn Congo. Felix is the civil liaison for the foreign mining companies and Sean Penn's assassin team. When the Minister of Mining in the Congo nullifies all mining contracts with foreign companies, Jim is activated by his employer who wants the politician assassinated. The team of four assassins is lead by Cox (Mark Rylance) who announces to his sharp shooters that Felix will decide which of the assassins will take the fatal shot and then said assassin will have to flee the continent immediately after. No surprise Felix chooses Jim to take the shot and having accomplished the mission, Jim is forced to leave Africa and Annie without so much as a goodbye. 8 years later Jim has reunited with the African continent as a UNICEF employee drilling wells when suddenly his past assassination comes back to haunt him. For the next hour and a half, Jim must circumvent Europe to track down who has knowledge of his past deeds and understand why he is wanted dead. Without giving any spoilers, the reason 'The Gunman'never gets off the ground is because the film is unable to sustain any intrigue. Jim is a glorified henchman for a multinational corporation, he is hardly the hero that you want to root for. Jim's character is drawn so thin you know very little about him to care enough whether he lives or dies. Additionally his relationship with Annie earns so little screen time before being abruptly halted that you invest almost nothing in the possibilities of Jim and Annie rekindling at some later date. The questions that Jim seeks answer to could have easily been solved with a couple phone calls, but instead his contacts send him on a treasure hunt around Europe. Apparently the information Jim needs is only accessible with a change of location at each turn. Each new venue invites its share of killers and combat. While Jim is on his mission for answers, we catch wind that Interpol, headed by Idris Elba, has Jim on their surveillance. Interpol seems one step ahead of Jim in terms of solving the puzzle, however they are convinced Jim is the linchpin to cracking the case. The final act of the movie is very predictable not to mention familiar and even a bit silly. Sean Penn's physique in the film is impressive and we are constantly reminded how much the actor got in shape for the role considering how much screen time his giant biceps earn. There are hardly any production credits that are distinguishable and worth mentioning here. Ultimately, the film underwhelms and feels like it wants to cash in on the fan base of the retired Bourne franchise.
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
A sniper on a mercenary assassination team, working for an unknown client, kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Terrier's (Sean Penn's) successful kill shot forces him to go into hiding to protect himself and the members of the team from retribution. This includes abruptly abandoning his girlfriend who has no idea what is going on. The assassination, paid for by a foreign mining company, triggers wide spread chaos and death in an already inflamed Congo. Terrier returns to the Congo years later working for an NGO, but eventually finds himself to be the target of a paid hit squad somehow connected to the ministers assassination. This leads to immediate deaths and the endangerment of the people working around him, and forces him back into hiding. In trying to discover who has put a price on his head, he begins to reconnect to the members of his old assassination team, including his old girlfriend. Always aware there is no path to redemption for his crimes, he is also periodically ...
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June 19, 2015 at 04:43 PM