Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Way of the Gun - Rewind Mini Review

Released 10 years ago today...

Original Release Date: September 8, 2000

Ryan Phillippe and Benicio Del Toro getting ready for battle.

This movie deserves to have a cult following and sadly it does not. I remember when I first saw it in that empty theater opening weekend I was blown away by its expertly staged gun fights and peculiar sense of humor. I wasn't surprised then and still not surprised now that many people have either never heard of this film or have tried to watch it and didn't understand what the hell it is supposed to be. Luckily, the film has not aged at all (as in it looks like it could still be released new today) and to this day I have never seen another movie do what this one does.

To elaborate, there are a total of three shootouts during the course of the movie and each one is completely different from one another. The first one is played mostly off screen where you hear the gun fire and eventually see the aftermath of it which is actually kind of weird, yet cool at the same time. The second one is a shootout involving a sort of simple standoff that is interrupted by a sniper. The third and final battle is simply amazing with its choreography and the situational awareness it displays. The one element that makes each of these scenes standout from other movie shootouts is that all the characters are professionals and display proper cover based tactics which makes it feel much more authentic.

The humor in this film is also somewhat off the wall but always really funny. The laughs don't come from dialogue as one would usually expect though and instead comes from the unusual situations the characters are put in. For instance, there is a really strange car chase near the beginning of the film where the people involved are constantly getting out of there cars, letting their vehicles coast on by themselves, engaging in some gun fights and then returning to their vehicles and continuing the chase. Oh, and the one exception to the dialogue rule though is the opening scene where if you love Sarah Silverman you will laugh your ass off and if you hate her you will be howling and cheering by the end of that scene.

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone looking for a really good crime/action film. Although the middle gets really dialogue heavy, I believe all the action and humor make up for any problems with the pacing. Give it a shot and hopefully one day the film will get the cult status it so deserves.

The Way of the Gun theatrical trailer:


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