Archive for the ‘Pierre Morel’ Category

Calvary Rebounded

The Gunman

gunman

Director: Pierre Morel

Cast: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Jasmine Trinca, Peter Franzen

Taken director Pierre Morel brings to cinematic life an above average thriller The Gunman based upon the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette pairing Oscar winners Sean Penn (Mystic River, Milk) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) together for the first time.

Set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, England and Spain, Penn plays an off the books Mercenary who is unwillingly hired to assassinate the Minister of Mines in the DRC after his announcement that the war torn country would be limiting foreign owned mining companies from operating in the ravaged but mineral rich central African country formerly the Belgian Congo.

gunman_ver5Dubbed operation Calvary, once the assassination takes place in 2006 Terrier was to leave the country and the continent and also that of his love interest, NGO worker Annie played by Italian actress Jasmine Trinca.

Fast forward eight years to 2014 and Terrier is targeted back in the DRC by some mean looking machete welding men and soon hightails it back to London after a narrow escape. Back in England, he confronts the mastermind of operation Calvary, the shady British businessman Cox played by Mark Rylance (Anonymous, The Other Boleyn Girl).

Terrier soon realizes that all the men involved in operation Calvary have been killed only leaving himself and boozy Spaniard Felix played by Bardem. The action thankfully moves to the fabulous Catalonian capital of Barcelona where things really heat up as Trinca realizes that her former flame is alive and well. After a very bloody shootout in a Spanish villa, Terrier travels to the British protectorate of Gibraltar to finally confront the real culprit in this scandalous and dangerous international cover up.

Unfortunately director Pierre Morel’s film The Gunman despite having two A list actors in it, suffers from the wait of its own importance and does not nearly come close to such masterpieces as the brilliantly directed Fernando Meirelles thriller The Constant Gardener based on a John le Carre novel.

The Gunman has all the right ingredients including shady Multi-Nationals plundering Africa’s vast mineral wealth, a covert operation which went horribly wrong and a doomed love affair which is finally reconciled.

gunman_ver4Penn gives an impressively muscular performance as the mercenary Terrier but Bardem and even Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba (Mandela, Pacific Rim) are wasted in this overlong meandering thriller which despite the exotic locations could have been neatly edited. The script needed an incisive treatment by Oscar winning scriptwriter Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, Rush).

The Gunman is an average thriller and although at times exhilarating lacks a clear vision and less contrived plot, although the bullfight sequence at the end certainly is inventive. Recommended viewing for those that enjoyed The November Man and The Constant Gardener. Look out for cameos by Ray Winstone (Noah, Snow White and the Huntsman) and Finnish actor Peter Franzen as the crazed gun for hire.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
November 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
  • IDFA Forum: New Doc ‘Tracks’ Sheppard Sisters’ Sprint into the Spotlight (EXCLUSIVE)
    Before they appeared on the cover of “Sports Illustrated,” before the TV appearances and red-carpet galas and the surprise home makeover from Tyler Perry, the Sheppard sisters were living in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn with their single mother. How they overcame adversity and raced their way into the limelight is the subject of “Sisters […]
    John Hopewell
  • IDFA: French Helmer Mathieu Rochet ‘Chasin’’ Trap Music to Its Source (EXCLUSIVE)
    When an offbeat daydreamer is sent by the God of Rap to save the world from an epidemic of trap music, he travels to its Atlanta source in search of a hip-hop savior: OutKast, the pioneering Southern rap duo that all but vanished from the music scene a decade ago. Described by director Mathieu Rochet […]
    John Hopewell
  • Longtime RTL Exec Anke Schäferkordt Steps Down
    Anke Schäferkordt, the former co-CEO of media giant RTL Group, is stepping down as chief of the group’s Germany division and exiting the company after nearly three decades. Schäferkordt will leave RTL on Dec. 31. The company said Schäferkordt’s departure was a mutual and amicable decision. Bernd Reichart, the current managing director of the German channel […]
    elskes
  • IDFA Film Review: ‘The Border Fence’
    In the opening shot of “The Border Fence,” the camera straddles the invisible line between Austria and Italy, watching without comment as a man blithely walks from one country to the other. This is as it should be in modern Europe, where a heavy influx of refugees and migrants from countries devastated by war and […]
    Peter Debruge
  • Sony Poaches Sky Exec Holly Comiskey to Be Country Manager for U.K., Ireland
    Sony Pictures Television has hired Holly Comiskey as its country manager for the U.K. and Ireland. The new SPT recruit will join the studio in January from Sky, where she was the head buyer for the pay-TV operator’s Sky Cinema service. Comiskey will report to Mark Young, SPT’s executive vice president for Western Europe. “Holly […]
    Stewart Clarke
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90