Starring: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Jasmine Trinca, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba Director: Pierre Morela Genre: Action Running time: 115 minutes Now showing at Century Cinemax, Acacia Mall, Kisementi; Cinema Magic, Metroplex Mall, Naalya; Cineplex Cinema, Oasis Mall, Yusuf Lule Rd. The Gunman is Jim Terrier (Penn), an assassin with one of those secret organisations only referred to as the company. On a mission in DR Congo, he is put on a mission to kill the minister in charge of the mines. He pulls it off only for chaos to break out in the country. Regretting his actions, he quits the company and goes into hiding. Eight years later, he returns to DR Congo as a volunteer with an NGO. While in the field one day, someone tries to kill him, and when he finds out that the same thing is happening to members of his former team are also being targeted, he figures it has something to do with the assassination, and starts a quest to find out who is trying to kill him. A not-so-complicated plot, right? Right. It goes without saying that this is an action-packed movie, especially when you factor in that Pierre Morel is in the director’s seat. Morel also directed Liam Neeson’s Taken, so it is safe to say he knows his action and sequences well. And while the action is there, the plot has different arcs that may leave you wondering why they were included. One of these is the love triangle between Terrier, his ex-girlfriend Annie (Trinca), and her husband Felix (Bardem), who was Terrier’s former teammate. It feels like this arc was put there just to make it appealing for people who watch only movies with a little romance in it. However, the chemistry between Penn and Trinca is meh to say the least – they lack that x-factor that makes us root for couples in movies. Then there is Penn as the leading man. Sure, he is a good actor – he has an Oscar under his belt after all. But him as a leading man, with guns blazing just doesn’t gel. Maybe it is because he is vocal against guns in the real world. Good thing is that he makes up for this in the scenes where he is not wielding a weapon. Bardem, too is a nice addition to the cast, with some memorable scenes. However, given the calibre of the actors, there is something about the movie that leaves you dissatisfied – like there should have been something more.
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