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In the face of rising crime rates and gun violence, the Detroit Police launches a full-scale war against gun runners. With the cooperation of the Feds they target a criminal named Rich and his arms operation. When a gun exchange goes bad and Rich’s old friend Angel steps up big time and saves his life, they form a bond that makes his supplier and lover, Gabriella, paranoid. But there is a snitch in the group and Gabriella’s biggest deal goes bad only to have an even bigger secret revealed, one that rocks Rich to his core.
For more about Gun and the Gun Blu-ray release, see Gun Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on January 6, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Curtis Jackson, Val Kilmer, Annalynne McCord, James Remar, John Larroquette, Danny Trejo
Director: Jessy Terrero
» See full cast & crew
Gun Blu-ray Review
Does 50 Cent's new film packs heat or totally misfire?
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, January 6, 2011
Rapper to actor is a common enough career trajectory, but how often do you hear about a hip hop artist trying to break into the screenwriting arena? Gun is Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's second attempt at penning a vehicle for himself—after the straight-to-video Before I Self Destruct, which he also directed—and while you can't say the guy isn't persistent, it's clear that he either needs to take some time off to hone his newfound craft, or else focus solely on his efforts in front of the camera. "50" isn't a bad actor—he does show some genuine promise here—but his script for Gun is terrible, cobbled together almost entirely from gangster clichés and stale cop movie conventions. You get the sense that Jackson watched all five seasons of The Wire before sitting down to pen his screenplay, but the end result can't be taken any more seriously than The Keystone Kops.
Jackson plays Rich, a Detroit thug with a burgeoning business selling illegal firearms to the city's less-than-savory citizens. In the opening sequence, he and his crew stage a hit at a nightclub to wipe out their main competitors, but Rich accidentally kills a cocktail waitress in the process, a fact that a pair of wizened, no-nonsense homicide detectives (James Remar and Paul Calderon) over-obviously point out to us, as if to say, "Hey, store this pertinent piece of information away. We're going to bring it up in the third act for the film's big a-ha moment." And they will, but you'll have long seen it coming.
Sometime later, a lion-maned convict, Angel (Val Kilmer), exits prison as a free man. As he's walking out of the gate, he takes a wedding ring out of a manila envelope containing his possessions, looks at it ruefully, and slips it into his pocket. I wonder…hmm…might something have happened to Angel's wife? Could she perhaps be the woman we just saw gunned down? No, it couldn't be that easy, could it?
As it turns out, Angel had once saved Rich's ass back in the day, so he goes to the arms dealer to have the favor returned. (Or, is he just trying to worm his way inside to get revenge?) Soon, he's hired on as extra muscle, which is handy for Rich because his deals always seem to end in massive shootouts that begin to attract attention from the cops. (Oh, really?) Consequently, the heat from the fuzz is getting too hot for Rich's supplier, a sexy blond with military connections (AnnaLynn McCord) with whom he's also having a torrid affair. (Gratuitous sex scene? Check. This is, after all, the guy who sang, "I'm into having sex, I ain't into making love.") As Angel gets deeper in Rich's organization and the cops begin to close in, the violence…well, you know the drill. Let's get to the inescapable shoot-em-up finale, where 50 Cent gets to fire a comically oversized assault rifle at the gas tank of a police cruiser. Ka-boom! It's his own personal Scarface moment.
Talk about dull. Gun is as stale as last week's donuts. Every character here, every twist of the plot, every line of dialogue has been done to death in some other, much-better gangland cops and baddies drama. I kid you not, there's a scene where one of the detectives actually says, "I'm too old for this shit." Ah yes, that old chestnut. Oh, and naturally, the local cops are good old boys, and the federal ATF agents that are inevitable brought in to "clean up this mess" are smug, impatient A-holes who only want to do things their way. We've never seen that in a film before. The unoriginality is beyond belief. Gun is so mindlessly derivative that you'd almost mistake it for a parody of cop 'n' robbers movies if it weren't so moodily self-serious. Do we really need the weepy flashback to Rich's childhood that explains exactly why he became a gun dealer?
The real question, though, is man, what happened to Val Kilmer? Here, packing some extra pounds and sporting a limp, shoulder-length shag, he looks like a cross between Meatloaf and a post-sacrificial Aslan. He's phoning it in as Angel—stumbling wearily from one scene to the next—but I can't say I blame him. He's better than Gun, and pardon the French, but yes, he's too old for this shit. I think we all are.
Gun Blu-ray, Video Quality
Image Entertainment brings Gun straight-to-Blu-ray with a solid—but not showy—1080p/AVC-encoded transfer. Most of the film is cast in a moody, lightly desaturated pallor, complete with intentionally sickly skin tones and a bleak mid-winter palette. You shouldn't expect any bright bursts of vivid color, but the look suits the nature of the film. Clarity is generally strong, especially for such a low-budget production. In close-ups, you'll be able to count the threads on Val Kilmer's flannel shirt and make out the individual hairs of Curtis Jackson's Just For Men-style beard. Black levels are adequately dense and contrast is spot on, although there's little "pop" or depth to the image. The picture looks natural—not scrubbed or over-processed—and there are no major compression issues. Not bad, overall—this is probably the best the film will ever look—but it's not something you'll put on to demo your home theater system.
Gun Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Likewise, Image gives the film a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that's satisfactory but well short of impressive. As you can probably imagine from the movie's title, the most dominant element of the mix is gunfire. Shotguns blast potently and bullets from automatic pistols pop off loudly, spitting through the soundfield and whistling between channels. Occasionally, you'll hear some glass shattering behind you, the roar of a car, or some other effect, but outside of the firefights the rear speakers are only sparsely used for anything besides music. The soundtrack, unsurprisingly, is largely comprised of rap songs by 50 Cent and his label-mates. As you'd hope, bass gets a modest workout and high-end sounds—like snare hits—are crisp and clean. There were a few instances when I felt the need to fiddle with the volume, but most of the time the dialogue is clear and intelligible.
Gun Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The lone bonus feature is a standard definition trailer.
Gun Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
50 Cent's Gun has come straight to video, and I think it's safe to assume its next stop will probably be the bargain bin, where it will just sit there, un-bought and unwatched. Leave it there—you'll be glad you did—and find a better way to spend 82 minutes of your time.
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Gun Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Clips from Gun Blu-ray - January 4, 2011
Image Entertainment has made available several film clips from the movie Gun, which comes out on Blu-ray today. This action-packed hip-hop take on the film noir genre stars rap sensation Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Val Kilmer.
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