Gun Shy

Directed by Eric Blakeney
Starring: Liam Neeson, Oliver Platt, Sandra Bullock
MPAA Rating: R for violence, language and some brief nudity.

Review by Matt Heffernan
February 6, 2000

Since it seems that Hollywood is incapable of making serious mob films anymore, they have resigned to making parodies or light comedies with light action. Only HBO manages to keep the genre alive as a series with "The Sopranos". At the theatre, we have to settle for less.

Liam Neeson plays DEA agent Charlie Mayough, who has been transfered to New York after losing his partner in Miami. He was severely traumatized after that last job, and no longer has any control over his flashbacks or his bowels. Even in this state, the New York guys have no choice but to have him go undercover in a drug deal with Fulvio Nesstra (Oliver Platt), a highly volatile mafioso.

When he's not pretending to be a criminal, he is in group therapy to keep himself together. To take care of his intestinal problems, he goes to Nurse Judy (Sandra Bullock) for a barium enema. He has such a pleasant experiece, he asks her out and they have a nice relationship. Life in New York could treat him well, if only he survives this case.

Gun Shy has its amusing moments, but overall it is unimpressive. It's supposed to be a comedy, but the funny moments are rather infrequent. The jokes that are in there are pretty good; unfortunately, too much time is spent carrying the intricate yet hackneyed plot. The details of the deal are difficult to understand, but there are plenty of clichés to keep it moving.

Maybe it would have made more sense if novice director Eric Blakeney actually knew how to make a film. The editing is entirely disjointed with no clear vision of what the story should be. He completely depends on the charisma of his leads ot make it work. You can never go wrong casting Platt, but Bullock lands a double jinx: she also produced the film. I do like her, but she just hasn't been on a roll exactly.

Neeson walks through this one, which may have been a stimulus for his statement last year that he was quitting the film business. He has since retracted the statement, but I better understand it after seeing this film.


For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Gun Shy (2000)

Here's some merchandise for sale at Amazon.com
Gun Shy (2000) -- VHS
Gun Shy (2000) -- DVD
Gun Shy: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc


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Review © 2000 Matt Heffernan