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Guns Akimbo (2020) Movie Review

Still from Guns Akimbo

We were all privy to Guns Akimbo since ages. Remember that viral picture of a dishevelled Daniel Radcliffe out on the streets in his bathrobe, waving guns around?

Yes, that was for this. For this movie.

Guns Akimbo – A Brief Synopsis

Daniel Radcliffe plays Miles (No surname. Nobody in this movie gets one. I checked.), a computer programmer who gets mixed up in a seedy underworld of real-life Battle Royale, complete with a Twitch-style platform and audience. Apparently, in this near-future dystopia, we’ve commoditized murder.

I don’t find that hard to believe for some reason. But let’s move on.

To save his girlfriend from this movie’s bad guy, Miles needs to fight Nix (Lisbeth Salander-lite looks, played by Samara Weaving) to the death, using two guns nailed to his hands.

Hence, the title.

What I Expected From Guns Akimbo

A balls-out mayhem of death and destruction, where Crank meets Mad Max: Fury Road meets Pixels. But Guns Akimbo squanders tight-scriptedness for needless, over-the-top exposition. It would’ve been fun to directly drop in on the action and figure everything from there on out. But someone had the bright idea of having Radcliffe narrate everyday happenings of his life as the story progresses.

This creates a problem as Guns Akimbo’s one hour and thirty-five minute runtime feels much longer.

Is The Action Surreal?

The fight choreography is nothing to write about. It is what you would expect from a movie in this genre – sped-up, fast, laden with quick cuts, fake blood spatters and critical moments slowed down to evoke that stupid, low-toned “NOOOOOOO” from tattooed gangbangers about to be shot in the head.

A movie with seventy percent action sequences shouldn’t feel boring. But there I was, yawning.

A Big + Is The Camera-work

A lot of creative shooting went into this movie and it shows. It is immersive. Has a lot of fun with point-of-view shots which slightly enhance the overall experience.

Meta Commentary’s Included

There are some parts in this movie, when everyone’s not being annoyingly generic, where the dialogue shines unexpectedly. Those moments are far and few. But they’re there.

Done Already?

No. I want to write a lot about this movie. About how it is a fun way to pass one-and-a-half hour, how it doesn’t take itself seriously but reinvents itself as it goes along. Guns Akimbo is hardly terrible. But it has an architecture that is as generic as it gets – guy gets into a situation, saving girlfriend is his mission, close friends die along the way and rooftop finale with the villain ends in his favor (by the way, this meta-commentary is included in the movie – one of the few things I liked about Guns Akimbo). The sad thing is, the whole exercise feels like a tug-of-war between innovation and repeatedness. 2018’s Upgrade is the direction this should’ve gone in, instead of 2014’s Need For Speed.

This movie is simulataneously smart enough to critique cliche movie troupes intelligently but dumb enough to make you cringe with its treatment of spectator viewers. Guns Akimbo balances a fine line, but ends up splatting its face often.

Guns Akimbo Rating

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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My last 3 movie reviews (Just so Yoast can stop bugging me about “Internal Links”) –

  1. Fantasy Island (2020) Movie Review
  2. Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020) Movie Review
  3. Uncut Gems (2019) Movie Review

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