Way of the Gun

Dir: Christopher McQuarrie
Star: Benicio Del Toro, Ryan Phillipe, Juliette Lewis, James Caan

The start and the end of this film are highly satisfactory, making it a great shame that things grind to a halt in the second act. Del Toro and Phillipe play low-lifes Longbaugh and Parker, who stumble into the kidnapping of a surrogate mother (Lewis), who is just about to give birth for the rich parents, and hide out in a Mexican motel. Unfortunately, what they don't realise is that the father got his money from very questionable sources, will deal with the matter his way - largely through his veteran bagman, Sarno (Caan) - and really doesn't care about the mother, as long as his baby survives. Except, he doesn't realise he's not actually the father of the baby. Yes, it's the kind of mix-up where everyone will get together and have a good laugh about it afterwards...

It opens at a cracking pace, with the sort of opening scene you'd expect from McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, that grabs your attention immediately - not least the line, "Shut that cunt's mouth, or I'll come over there and fuck-start her head." The finale, too, is well-crafted; our 'heroes' see their ransom in the middle of a courtyard, and know full well an ambush is imminent from somewhere. It's the middle, after they reach the motel, where things falter considerably; the negotiation to-and-fro rapidly outliving its welcome. Both characters and audience know what matters is the exchange of ransom for kidnappee. To quote Parker, "The longest distance between two points is a kidnapper and his money"; and so everything in the middle becomes meaningless filler.


Del Toro does it his Way
See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]