Girl With a Gun (2022)

Rating: D+

Dir: Kevin M. White
Star: Ronni Hawk, Jeremy London, Bill Martin Williams, Armando Leduc

Given the title, as well as the poster, you’ll understand that my initial thought was that this would be reviewed over on my other site. I mean, the name does create certain expectations. The reality is considerably more subdued: it’s much more of a thriller than an action piece, and didn’t end up meeting the required standard to qualify as a girls-with-guns movie. Despite a lack of quantity. it might have, had the heroine demonstrated the require degree of competence with her firearm. But after an opening sequence of her at a shooting range, which borders on the fetishistic, there are too many gaffes. She loses track of how many bullets she has fired, and her approach when covering someone at close range is flat-out woeful (top). So, here we are instead.

Even as a thriller, it’s not very thrilling. The heroine is Tomi Shaw (Hawk), a bartender who gets a call one night, summoning her back to the family home, a six-hour drive away. Her mother has shot her father, then turned the gun on herself. However, it’s not long after her arrival back to the small town in question, that the circumstances of her parents’ deaths come into question. She’s accosted on their farm by a man, demanding to know where “it” is. What the “it” might be, the truth behind the deaths, and a bigger conspiracy involving fishing rights and the Mexican cartel, are what occupy proceedings the rest of the way.

There are the usual stock characters for this kind of situation. The loyal family friend who comes to her aid (London). The dodgy local cop. The relative who might be more involved than he initially appears (Williams). And if you can’t figure out where the “it” is located a good half-hour before Tomi does, then you clearly were not paying attention. Which will largely be understandable, it has to be said. Eventually, with the aid of the local cartel representative (Leduc, who might be the best actor here, managing to do something simple, like eat breakfast, in an interesting way), Tomi has Had Enough, and suddenly remembers the title of the movie. If not, perhaps, the capacity of her gun.

Everything here unfolds as you’d expect, though I was amused by the hyper over-reaction of the bartender to Tomi’s arrival: “Whoo Wee! You’re a knockout!” Nah, she’s a 7, maybe an 8 at best. Admittedly, small towns have rather laxer beauty standards (I know, having grown up in one!). At the end, we get a po-faced speech from Tomi, telling us, “I think it’s time for us to redefine those two simple words, good and bad.” This is quite the philosophical jump for a film which has been simplistic and basic to the point I wanted to pat it on the head, and offer it a pet treat. It would certainly require quite the redefinition of terms, for this to be considered any kind of a “good” movie.