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The Gunman

The Gunman

Großbritannien/Frankreich/Spanien 2015 - with Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Idris Elba ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The Gunman
Genre:Action, Thriller
Direction:Pierre Morel
Cinema release:30.04.2015
Production country:Großbritannien/Frankreich/Spanien 2015
Running time:Approx. 115 min
Rated:From 16 years

Along with his girlfriend Annie (Jasmine Trinca), Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) is an NGO worker in the Congo. What Annie doesn't suspect is that her friend is a mercenary who has been hired by a business conglomerate to take out a high-ranking minister. The assassination succeeds, but Jim must promptly leave the country afterward without saying goodbye to Annie. Years later, he has seemingly moved on from his job as a mercenary and is back working for an NGO in a troubled area of Africa. But when a village where he is working on a well is raided by armed men who are apparently looking for him, he realizes he can no longer run away from his past. With his former employer, who now has a bounty on his head, Jim engages in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that takes him from Africa across Europe. When Annie is also put in danger, things get really personal...

With 96 Hours - Taken, Pierre Morel made Liam Neeson an unexpected action star a few years ago. Now he sends the next aging character mime down the lead-laden action track in The Gunman. And Oscar-winner Sean Penn does a fine job as the muscle-bound retired Rambo, too. Admittedly, he keeps his facial expressions to an absolute minimum, so that one is tempted to believe that he took a course in the Steven Segal School of Facial Expressions in preparation for this role. And in the more dialogue-heavy scenes this almost becomes his undoing, as he can't catch up with the rather flat dialogues with his acting. But whenever the action picks up speed and Penn gets to talk fists and guns, it becomes clear that Morel has once again shown a good hand in choosing his leading man.

The script is not exactly the film's strong point. There are some significant logic holes in the story, the big twists aren't as surprising as they would like to be, and the characters are drawn in an arguably clichéd manner. In addition, the talent of great supporting actors like Idris Elba and Javier Bardem is only used extremely marginally. Still, the film has a fairly high entertainment value overall. The imagery is atmospheric, the staging has decent pacing at most moments, and some of the action sequences are not only well choreographed, but actually provide something like genuine suspense.

Of course, that's not enough to make The Gunman stand out from the crowd of similar action productions. The flick's only unique selling point is the fact that it features two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn in a rather unfamiliar role. However, those who associate Penn with depth of character and sophisticated dramaturgy will definitely find little joy in his foray into the action genre. If, on the other hand, you just want to see an appealingly filmed, solidly crafted thriller in the style of the Taken films, you'll get your money's worth over long stretches. And therefore there is, despite some obvious weaknesses, in the end still a satisfied: Worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The Gunman (Großbritannien/Frankreich/Spanien 2015)"
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