Gun review by Tom Blain

Plainly put: Gun is 50 Cent's Threat Level Midnight. I'll explain in a bit...

50 Cent's relatively new film company, Cheetah Vision recently got $200 million deal from a hedge fund to create 10 films. Gun is the first film to fall in with this deal, and there are at least three more in the works for the upcoming year. As with any deal, this is not an investment into 50 Cent's artistic abilities as a film maker as much as it is an investment off of his bankability as a recognizable actor/character. In 2005, Get Rich or Die Trying pulled in $40 million+ so you can do the simple investment math.

Gun had an auspicious start. Even before it made its way to the public, the production saw ridicule for a poorly planned poster that has among other things, plurality issues. Gun centers on a small time gun runner from Detroit named Rich (played by 50 Cent) who tries to make it big. The film opens with him taking out his competition in a strip club shoot-up. As he makes plans for the big time, his old buddy Angel (Val Kilmer, stunt doubled by Sally Struthers) gets out of prison and joins up with him. In fact Angel (as his name would hint) starts just in time to protect Rich from a deal that goes sour. As we try to figure out Angel and his past, Rich pulls him in closer to his circle of trust to flank him on major deals.

Gun marks 50 Cent's second attempt at screenwriting. His first is a film called, Before I Self Destruct; a straight to video inner city crime film also staring and directed by 50 Cent. And that brings me to the Threat Level Midnight which was the movie created the character Michael Scott within the show The Office. The movie was a fantasy fluff-fest made by Scott to show him as he hopes to see himself; as a life saving James Bond like hero. Its not well thought out. The story doesn't always make sense. But what it does is center on some odd fantasy that the Michael Scott character has to be some great hero. And then there is Gun. Without seeing the opening credits it's obvious right away that Gun was written by Fiddy, for Fiddy because it seems to have an underlying message of : "50 Cent is a bad dude, don't mess with him, and he has a huge penis." His writing is completely self-serving as he created, for himself, a Scarface-esque gangster fantasy film. He is the centerpiece that all other characters revolve around and admire. It's laughable how much the story builds up this street thug character without tearing him down (too much) by the end. Other characters not only show him respect, but they tell stories about him as if he were some fabled legend. His supplier talks about him as if he is "ready for the big time", whatever that means, despite the fact that the film rarely shows a deal completing without bullets flying. In every shot where Rich holds a gun, it's ALWAYS larger than the guns other people are holding as if to say, "this is the relative size of my penis." This Freudian hint is fully realized in the final shootout where he is essentially holding a cannon and dropping bean pods on cop cars filled with cops with tiny handguns.

In my favorite, "this one's for me" moment, he meets up with his gun supplier who happens to be a model-hot blonde Gabrielle (AnnaLyne McCord)...because you know if you are hot, skinny and blonde then pushing guns onto the street is your true calling. Anyway, three white guys are attempting to pick her up at some upscale bar and she lets them know she is not interested. In walks Rich who drops a bullet in one of their beers saying the next one isn't coming out of my hand (they all respect his junk). It goes on. Rich and Gabrielle talk business for a minute before Rich spouts of this nugget: "Think you can handle my load?" Really what he is trying to inform her and the audience is, "I'm firing large bullets on the street and in the sack." All of sudden the movie jumps to a fast-cutting, rough sex montage between the two where in some moments Gabrielle is worked over like a folding chair. It feels a bit awkward to show them bumpin' nasties at this point. It shows us that they are "entangled" in pleasure as much as in business. But really what it does show that Gabrielle likes it a little rough and Rich is ready to offer it to her. It builds up Rich (50 Cent) as the top dog, the Lion King, etc.

It should also be noted that the final shootout (and I don't think I'm ruining anything for you by mentioning this) includes the most absurd sting operation ever filmed. The cops are watching a warehouse gun deal go down. Rich is holding the hand cannon mentioned above. The brief case full of money changes hands, and BOOM the cops rain down, but the guy they are after is holding a the largest gun in the room and could use it to rip holes in the Grand Canyon. I mean seriously DO COPS REALLY DO THIS?!? A smarter plan would be to send in the cavalry when the perp is more or less unarmed. Wait till he puts the piece down, then give the signal. But really we all know what this scene is meant to do; it's just an opportunity to show 50 Cent firing the biggest firearm in the movie on the po-po. More shots of 50 Cent looking like the baddest cat and living the hip-hop Scarface fantasy.

Jessy Terrero's direction isn't bad. He is mainly a rap video director and a lot of the movie feels like a big dirty rap video, but it works within the context of a modern day B-movie crime drama. The main failures fall within the shallowness of the script which at one point was supposedly a "socially conscious" film but eventually morphed into a 50 Cent ego-ride. A hood advertisement to raise 50 Cent's street cred as he mows down opposing gangs and cops with cold-blooded precision armed with the biggest piece on the street. It's laughably transparent and sadly sophomoric.




2 out of 10 Jackasses
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