Gun Shy

Banderas Returns, But Should He Have?

I feel like I’ve missed a step in the career of Antonio Banderas. From being involved in things like Shrek and Once Upon A Time In Mexico, I’m unclear how he ends up being involved in some of his more recent films such as Acts Of Vengeance and now this, Gun Shy.

Banderas plays Turk Henry, a washed-up bass player of an English rock band, Metal Assassin. He’s now living a life of seclusion and doesn’t leave the house in Malibu where he lives with his former supermodel wife Sheila, Olga Kurylenko (Oblivion, Seven Psychopaths).

She convinces him to take a trip to Chile where she is promptly kidnapped by some pirates, who’ve only been pirates for nine-hours. They want a million dollars for her, which Turk thinks is nothing, but he’s thwarted in simply paying it by a jobs-worth US agent, Mark Valley (Zero Dark Thirty, Boston Legal (TV)), who sees it as his way out of Chile.

As Henry is a rich rock star, he’s unable to do anything for himself but isn’t important enough for his manager to help. Instead Marybeth, Aisling Loftus (Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Mr Selfridge (TV)), the managers assistant, is sent.

She brings in help in the form of Martin Dingle Wall (Happy Hunting, Strangerland) who plays an Australian something-or-other who goes around spouting sexist comments at Marybeth and then apologising for them, ‘cos that makes it alright then.

Take an aged rock star, a former supermodel, a kidnapping, an inept US agent and a walking Australian stereotype and give it a shake, you now have Gun Shy.

There’s slightly more to it then that, in fact for a film that runs at just slightly over an hour and a half (with ten minutes of that coming at the end/over the credits), there’s too much to it, but that’s the least of its problems.

The script, by Toby Davies (That Mitchell And Web Look (TV), Pixelface (TV)) and Mark Haskell Smith (Martial Law (TV), The Inheritance), seems like it’s straight out of the 90’s though wouldn’t have been much cop then either. There’s very little action and even less comedy, a reference to Amazon here and some pictures of Donald Trump there appear to be attempts at bringing it up to date.

Behind the camera is Simon West who, not dissimilar to Banderas, has gone from the giddy heights of directing Con Air, to more recently Stratton and now this.

Banderas keeps spouting that he’s English though makes no attempt at an English accent. I think we’re supposed to find that part of the ‘joke’. Perhaps with someone who showed any interest in the role it may have been funny, but Banderas seems completely uninterested, meandering his way through the film looking for the end.

No-one comes out of Gun Shy with much credibility, except perhaps Kurylenko who performs what little of a role she’s given, well. David Mitchell, he of Peepshow fame, pops up as Henry’s manager but is woefully underused which is odd given he’s the only funny person in this unfunny film. In fact, the best part of the film is the scene after the credits when Mitchell is escaping.

Whatever has gone on with Banderas, or those around him, it’s a shame to see him in things like this, well in truth it’s a shame to see anyone in things like this. Banderas has a few movies coming up in 2018, let’s hope the only way is up.

Take an aged rock star, a former supermodel, a kidnapping, an inept US agent and a walking Australian stereotype and give it a shake, you now have Gun Shy.

8th January 2018

Simon West

Toby Davies, Mark Haskell Smith

Running Time:
1h 32min


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