Blu-ray Review: ‘Gun Shy’

Review by Mark Merrell

Based on the 2007 book, Salty, written by author Mark Haskell Smith, Gun Shy is the story of an aging rock star. Without a hit for some time, getting older and frustrated with his new apparent lot in life, Turk Henry, (Antonio Banderas, Desperado, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Shrek, The Legend Of Zorro, Philadelphia, The Mambo Kings) is completely overcome in his devotion of his girlfriend. Blamed for breaking up Turk’s band in a documentary on a television show that Turk is watching as the movie opens, Shelia, (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum Of Solace, Oblivion, Hitman, The Assassin Next Door) wants to get away from their home in Malibu, California for a change of pace.

Turk seems more interested in drinking beer than music, or anything else, with the exception of Shelia. She convinces Turk to travel out of the country to Chile. Turk reluctantly agrees. The pair fly in, only to discover that it’s the off season for visitors, arriving at a nearly vacant luxury hotel. Camped out by the pool in his best, Steven Tyler look-alike outfit, Turk is content to hang out poolside, downing an endless supply of brews in his lounge chair. Shelia wants to go see the sights of Chile. Uninteressant, Turk decides to continue marinating his liver in beer, as Shelia heads out for a guided tour with a few other tourists.

During their first stop, the tour group happens upon a group of alpacas. Suddenly, one of the couples in the group decides to take out rifles and bag some of the beasts. Shelia apparently has mistaken the brochure for the tour, advertising a, find and shoot animals adventure. She has her camera ready to take pictures. Hearing the couple drawing down on the seemingly unaware innocent alpacas, she stands in-between the hunters and the animals, demanding they not shoot.

The argument continues, as a group of bad guys drives up. The couple with the rifles are attacked by the alpacas, resulting in their death, as the husband is assaulted by the animals, then falls, shooting his wife in the head, simultaneously succumbing to their injuries.

The Kidnappers soon discover Shelia’s identity. Sensing a chance for a big payday, they decide to ask for a ransom for her safe release, setting up one misadventure after another for Turk and Shelia.

Directed by Simon West (Con Air, The Expendables, Lara Croft), Gun Shy is absolutely pleasing to the eye. Written by Toby Davies (Murder In Successville, That Mitchell and Webb Look) and author Mark Haskell Smith (Playing God, The Magnificent Seven, Inside Out), the promise for a very entertaining film is certainly covered with this talented group. The sets, actors, and cinematography are all first rate.

Unfortunately, the ebb and flow of the movie never seems to find a clear path. Bandaras creatively overplays Turk, giving the movie the comedic fuel. The problem is not long after the movie starts, nothing compels you to keep watching. Disjointed and just not funny, the film never really lifts off, even though the audience wants it to. Gun Shy is certainly a missed opportunity with this super talented group.

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