Movie Review – Morel’s Gunman slowly disappoints

By Rodrigo Valverde/reporter

Sometimes an impressive cast just isn’t enough to make a quality film. The Gunman proves that and will find audiences forgetting about this film shortly after watching it.

Having previously helmed the first Taken film, director Pierre Morel falls short of the quality, charm and excitement that film had with The Gunman.

Sean Penn is both assassin and target in The Gunman.  Photo courtesy Open Road Films
Sean Penn is both assassin and target in The Gunman.
Photo courtesy Open Road Films

The film revolves around Sean Penn’s character Jim Terrier, an international military operative, who no longer wants part of that life but finds it difficult to escape when the organization he works for puts a hit on him, causing a chase across Europe.

For the first few scenes, the movie is very gripping and exciting, leading the audience to believe they are in for that experience throughout the whole movie. But after the first 20 minutes, the movie slows down, and the story becomes incredibly uninteresting.

Penn does solid work and got into amazing shape for this role, which the film constantly tries to make apparent with a lot of shirtless muscle-flexing close-ups. He displays his talent well and drives this film as best he can, but, unfortunately, his is the only interesting character.

Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone supply great supporting talent in this film. But their efforts are wasted by bad storytelling, ridiculous characters and an unnecessary love triangle causing disinterest among viewers.

One positive about this movie — the action scenes are impressive to see. However, there is so much down time between them, and by the time the final showdown comes around, viewers have already clocked out.

The Gunman had so much potential to be a great film and turn Penn into a Liam Neeson-like action star, but sadly this is not the one to do it.

Though this film is not unbearable, no one will remember it.

Taken has shown that Morel is a director perfectly capable of making fun action movies, so viewers shouldn’t completely write him off. But his next film will have to live up to his potential, or he’ll lose a massive number of viewers.

The Gunman is in theaters everywhere but hardly worth the price of admission.