Sandwiched between two slices of stale sanctimony about Western exploitation of Africa, the meat of this geri-action flick is thriller tropes, risible dialogue and an undercooked, over-seasoned plot. Eight years after Jim Terrier (Sean Penn, buff and brooding) carries out a political hit in the Congo, someone is tying up loose ends. When African rebels attempt to kill Terrier, now an aid worker, he inexplicably links it to the 2006 assassination and sets about tracking down those who want him dead. He reunites with ex-flame Annie (Jasmine Trinca, distractingly bad), now married to his former running buddy Felix (Javier Bardem, awful and campy, and the only actor here who grasps the inanity). The action sequences are unexciting and the senseless narrative wastes good actors such as Idris Elba, who gets second billing for a few minutes of screen time. Teaming with Taken director Pierre Morel, Penn, a producer, goes for a Neeson-style cash-grab, but his acting skill set doesn't jibe with B-movie escapism.
Official Site: thegunmanthefilm.com
Director: Pierre Morel
Writer: Don MacPherson, Jean-Patrick Manchette and Pete Travis
Cast: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, Jasmine Trinca, Deborah Rosan, Peter Franzén, Melina Matthews and Jayme Swiftt
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