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Overall Rating

Awesome: 30.77%
Worth A Look44.87%
Average: 6.41%
Pretty Bad: 10.26%
Total Crap: 7.69%

6 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Way of the Gun, The
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by Jason Whyte

"Violent, bloody and a blast. And don't forget a Sarah Silverman cameo!"
5 stars

Here's a movie that is bold, exciting, funny, sexy, bloody, profane and a rip-roaring time, and the kind of which that is forgotten these days: with NO visual effects or CGI. "The Way of the Gun," directed and written by Christopher McQuarrie (he penned the Oscar winning script of "The Usual Suspects") is pure 70's filmmaking that owes a lot to the Sam Peckinpah films of yesteryear. It's all plot. It's all character, baby. And it has attitude and wit to spare.

It comes out at a time where films are normally rejects of the summer, and while there truly are some now that fit into that category, I found nothing of the sort to be here. There are stretch of moments besides swearing and gunplay, where the characters talk, interact and we breath along with them. Some call that boring. I call it character development.

The film opens with a sort of standard character introduction in a scene that has nothing to do with the film. We meet our two protagonists, Parker and Longbaugh (Ryan Phillipe and Benicio Del Toro) who are criminals, as always, looking for a big score. They find it in a situation where a pregnant, suggorgate mother (Juliette Lewis) can be kidnapped and held for ransom. The baby's father Hale Chidduk (Scott Wilson) has so much money that he would most likely throw it all at the kidnappers.

But there's more to it than meets the eye, it seems that Chidduk's ties have deep criminal backgrounds, involving his main man Joe Sarno (James Caan), some bodyguards (Nicky Katt and Taye Diggs), even the wife to Chidduk, a dame named Francesca (Kristin Lehman from "Dog Park"), who has some plans of her own. Or does she?

Not only is this great Peckinpah territory, but even a dash of Hitchcock here and there, with some shots that suggest that something may or may not be what it is. To cite an example, there is a dazzling scene involving the first kidnapping, where the tactical manuevers of Parker and Longehan are smart, slow and careful, and the following scene shows the perfect example of what cat-and-mouse is all about.

Furthermore, there are some wonderful techinal additions to the film for its success. McQuarrie's direction is crisp solid and exciting, always choosing smart angles and fun new ways of showing things. Furthermore, the music score by Joe Kraemer is among the best this year, full of latin and even orchestral notes. The heavy metal music used in the trailer is thankfully absent.

I like to be surprised. This film is certainly no exception. It's a hidden gem, a movie that I had all expectations of a flop, and I arrive, 119 minutes later in a daze, told a good, fun story with a healthy dose of all aspects of good filmmaking. While not perfect, "The Way of the Gun" is the way to go.

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originally posted: 08/02/05 08:48:48
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User Comments

1/30/10 Dane Youssef Another worthwhile modern-day heist western. Enthralling, dirty and twisted. Worth seeing. 4 stars
2/13/07 Double M Fine acting, great dialogue, incredible shootouts. requires more than 1 viewing. 5 stars
8/07/05 Charlene Javier Could have been better. 2 stars
5/11/05 chris. wow...this could have been whole lot better, and should have been 3 stars
4/24/05 stu great film away from the 'xXx' type crap that hollywood usually has to offer as action. 5 stars
12/28/04 Archanist_101 Worthy only becuase of Christopher McQuarrie's talent & creativity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/10/04 greed-e one of my favorites, seems like a crimanal wrote it. 5 stars
6/05/04 y2mckay Caan, Del Toro, and some good shootouts are the saving graces 3 stars
9/28/03 Ingo Way cool. Nachos'n'beer required. 4 stars
5/17/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!) DISAPPOINTING coming from the creator of "Usual Suspects," but has some good action. 3 stars
4/30/03 Zel He punched the woman in the face and kissed the other woman! BRILLIANT! 5 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Godawful, self-indulgent trash from the overrated McQuairre. Caan is only asset. 1 stars
5/25/02 Butterbean A mild, forgettable thriller that makes me moist for Taye Diggs. 3 stars
1/17/02 Danielle Wilson I love Benecio Del-Torro & Ryan Philippe 5 stars
10/04/01 Phoenix After the first scene, I knew it was going to be a good movie. Well done shoot-out scenes. 4 stars
6/02/01 Basil Benicio is so cool. 5 stars
5/09/01 Clarance Rollercoaster plot combined with gun slinging and the value of human life---Great movie! 4 stars
5/02/01 Sirius Sadie I should've liked it but I didn't 2 stars
4/08/01 R.W. Welch Pretty decent writing, but overdone shootouts. 4 stars
3/23/01 davebo a fun "who do i root for?" movie 4 stars
3/11/01 Bowser Very Bad 1 stars
3/11/01 luket shut that cunt up or i'll come fuck start her head 5 stars
2/21/01 T. Sharif One Hell Of A Movie 5 stars
2/05/01 Steve Ferris Now I'm gonna see Usual Suspects. 5 stars
9/27/00 The Rock Average all around 3 stars
9/22/00 Hollywood Hangover Fun and intriguing characters. Could've been better but still pretty good. 4 stars
9/20/00 Trikcobra Fucking sucks! 1 stars
9/18/00 Shery Anne This movie's deinately a sleeper. I took a nap for about 15 minutes during it. 1 stars
9/17/00 The Bomb 69 wasn't as violent as advertised, awesome anyway!!! 5 stars
9/17/00 JB Pretty interesting, but also very boringa at times. Watching a second time is recommended. 4 stars
9/13/00 Joltking What a killer movie! Plot flawless and gunplay incredible. 5 stars
9/13/00 PJ Holy shit, nitty gritty, Peckinpah would be proud, Del Torro and Cann are simply brilliant. 5 stars
9/13/00 Khaziel damned fine movie.....anything from McQuarrie is a great piece of work 5 stars
9/12/00 bison excellent experience. a bit murky at points, but awesome writing and direction. 5 stars
9/11/00 Hadlock Hedstrom a fresh looking movie that you and your guy friends can go see 5 stars
9/11/00 philiph Loved it! Ronin and the Ususal Suspects combined. 5 stars
9/11/00 finalfight great ending for a solid film ,some scenes hard to watch 4 stars
9/10/00 jonnyA nice 4 stars
9/10/00 frank if MCQUARRIE hadn't rushed it out, it could have been amazing. 4 stars
9/09/00 Billy Bone Fun to watch, but I didn't understand what it all meant. Great acting, cool guns 5 stars
9/09/00 Merripen Filth, filth, filth. Don't bother. 1 stars
8/14/00 monkey it was good but no jungle book 1 stars
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  08-Sep-2000 (R)


  17-May-2001 (MA)

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