Turk Henry, a bassist for a recently split mega-platinum band, takes his pampered wife on an exotic luxury holiday to Chile only for her to be snatched by a group of shipless Buccaneers trying to raise money to buy a boat.
I have always enjoyed Antonio Banderas’ performances. From Tom Hanks’ gay lover in “Philadelphia” to his El Mariachi in “Desperado” and Miguel Bain, a hot-headed contract killer in “Assassins,” the man has always been a joy to watch. With “Gun Shy,” however, it pains me to say that Mr. Banderas was not present in this movie, it must have been his doppelganger because there was absolutely nothing “Banderas” about his role as an aging rock star who must take matters into his own hands to save his kidnapped wife, played by the gorgeous Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”). It was excruciating watching two excellent performers waltz around the screen with nothing better to do than obviously pick up a paycheck. There is absolutely nothing inspiring throughout and to make matters worse, the film was directed by Simon West, a director I have long admired who gave us “Con Air,” “The General’s Daughter,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” and “The Expendables 2,” not classics by any means but entertaining flicks nonetheless. With such an amazing cast and crew, it boggles the mind that were you to place the movie next to paint drying, the paint would be more exciting.
As the former lead member of a famous rock band, Turk Henry (Antonio Banderas) lives in Los Angeles with his beautiful wife Sheila (Olga Kurylenko), reliving his glory days by watching his own performances on TV. Having not stepped outside of his house in over two years as his former bandmates likened Sheila to Yoko Ono for splitting them up, he lives every day drinking beer and ordering his assistants around the house. When Sheila informs him that she has booked a trip for them to Chile, to get away for a while, he is very reluctant but she eventually persuades him to go. Once there, he sits by the hotel pool all alone drinking beer, in the middle of Winter, wondering why the place is so empty. When Sheila tells him that she has booked a sight-seeing tour for them, he elects to stay but she decides to go and no sooner has the tour bus reached its mountainous destination, Sheila and a handful of tourists are taken captive by a group of renegade pirates. When their leader Juan (Ben Cura), recognizes Sheila as the wife of Turk, they immediately demand $1 million for her release. Alone and unprepared, Turk must rise to the occasion and either pay the rebels what they want or become a man and hunt them down and retrieve his wife.
I’m guessing it was at this point in the film that the comedy was supposed to kick in but sadly, like Banderas’ lazy and apathetic character, it elects to stay put and shirk its responsibilities. There is absolutely no drama throughout because whenever any serious moment transpires, or at least attempts to, the movie quickly switches gears and introduces comedic elements that are supposed to split your sides but because the humor tries to take over the drama and vice versa, instead, it winds up being a smorgasbord of failed undertakings at both drama and humor. Typically, if there is anything redeeming about a film, I will labor the point because as an indie filmmaker myself for over thirty years, I know only too well the importance of highlighting any positive aspects but here, I could not find one, single solitary facet, and when you can’t find even the tiniest fragment, something is very wrong.
Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD Tuesday, November 7th