One would think that a film that contains talent like Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Idris Elba could do no wrong. But alas, The Gunman is out to prove that in fact, some movies cannot be saved no matter how much you try.
Jim (Sean Penn) is a , um, special op? Spy? Mercenary? Well, whatever it is, he’s part of a team of guy with guns and stuff in the Congo. Whatever it is he does, his doctor girlfriend Annie (Jasmin Trinca), doesn’t know either but she pals around with his coworkers, one of which is Felix (Javier Bardem), who has a bit of a creepy thing for her. When an order goes out to take out an a Congo government official, it’s Jim who pulls the trigger and then must leave the country, which makes him ask creepy Felix to “keep an eye on Annie.” Which, duh, he will.
Apparently Jim did go back to the Congo, making up for shooting people and stuff by digging wells for fresh water for villages. Whatever he was supposed to hide from finds him, and of course, Jim kicks some butt. Then he travels to London (cause his name isn’t under watch at the airport? what?) to reconnect with some of his old team to see who is trying to kill him. He finds his ex buddies, but one, are all living la vida rich including Felix who is now married to Annie and living in Barcelona (again- wtf TSA). Jim wants to win Annie back but can he do so and outrun the mysterious people looking for him? Oh and somewhere in the shooting, the running, the nakeding is Idris Elba is in a suit and doing in chargy type things…I think.
Oh Sean, why? Listen, I get you want to do action and all but this was way too desperate of an attempt. I get it. You look good with a shirt off and you can beat up four guys at once. But, we already know you’re a tough guy so what’s the point?
While the cinematography is pretty cool (I mean, the locations tho), the story has no real resolutions, many questions remain unanswered and some scenes just seem to be taken from some sort of “Action Movies for Dummies” playbook. Regardless of the talent in this movie, it’s best just to let it get shot.
The Gunman opens March 20th and is rated R.