Title – Guns Akimbo (2019)
Director – Jason Lei Howden (Deathgasm)
Cast – Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Rhys Darby, Ned Dennehy
Plot – Office worker and online troll Miles (Radcliffe) is unwillingly placed into a deadly underground game of life and death known as Scism, with his opponent the vicious and bloodthirsty Nix (Weaving).
“Never bring a spork to a gunfight”
Review by Eddie on 23/03/2020
Similar in DNA to fellow Red Bull infused action/thrillers Crank, Hardcore Henry and Gamer, Guns Akimbo is the type of ADHD suffering offering that barely pauses for breath on its quest to mask the fact it’s not actually as smart or funny as it thinks it is.
Films like Crank and too a far lesser extent Gamer exist as enjoyable pieces of popcorn munching entertainment (or the perfect pizza and a movie double bill) because they’re filled with wonderfully over the top characters, fun performances and thrilling direction and while Guns Akimbo does have these elements in some form, they never combine together in a way that makes us totally invested in Harry Potter’s quest to survive a deadly underground real life video game.
Directed by New Zealand filmmaker Jason Lei Howden, whose virtually killed his career in the space of mere weeks after vile Twitter attacks aimed at film critics and industry writers, Guns Akimbo casts Daniel Radcliffe as bored office worker Miles, whose online trolling gets him in a spot of bother when he awakes one day to find his hands bolted to a pair of loaded pistols and tasked with killing Samara Weaving’s Nix, all as a ploy as part of the murderous online game known as Skizm.
Clearly throughout, Howden is having a go at our online, gaming and sadistic human habits but you’re not going to be coming out of this film feeling like you’ve learned something, as a majority of its run-time is taken up with Miles shouting expletives as he tries to escape the clutches of Nix’s attacks across a crowded city-scape.
Howden struggles to land any really solid jokes in what is supposed to be a self-lampooning action/comedy hybrid, with even the usually sure fire bet Rhy’s Darby as a creepy crack-smoking hobo failing to ignite proceedings and while Guns Akimbo’s action at times is frenetic and neatly filmed, it lacks that real magic mojo that the best of the genre has to offer.
It’s a shame, as Radcliffe’s continual push to do pretty much everything to take him away from the wizarding world remains an intriguing thing to watch and he gives this performance a lot of energy, while Ready or Not break out star Samara Weaving looks the part but doesn’t make much of a mark as Nix, as the two solid performers fail to get Guns Akimbo to the next level as it lumbers along its way.
Final Say –
There’s some great ideas in Guns Akimbo but they’re not executed well as Howden’s film runs out of lives well before the final boss fight.
2 cold hot dogs out of 5