Just when Liam Neeson looked to become the genre’s leading man, the leather-faced Sean Penn wants a piece of the revenge-action pie, here starring as former hitman-with-a-heart Jim Terrier.
The crux of the film’s story takes place in a divided DR Congo, where Terrier lives to regret the violent actions of his past. Sadly, by the looks of things, the time spent bulking Penn’s frame far exceeded that of fleshing out an engrossing script – we’re delivered a plodding narrative that runs very shallow, using sociopolitical issues in exotic climates as a smokescreen to distract from complete gun-toting apathy.
Despite its arguments to the contrary, The Gunman is a plastic thriller void of suspense or charm, missing its mark entirely.
CAST: Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Mark Rylance, Ray Winstone
DIRECTOR: Pierre Morel
WRITER: Pete Travis and Don MacPherson (screenplay), Jean-Patrick Manchette (novel)
SYNOPSIS: Sniper Jim Terrier, on a mercenary assassination team, kills the minister of mines of the Congo. Returning to the Congo after years of exile, he becomes the target of a hit squad himself.