When wife of washed-up rock star, Turk Henry (Antonio Banderas) is kidnapped during a hiking trip in Chile, it’s up to Turk, along with a rag-tag team, to get her back safely. This is Gun Shy, a film that tries so hard to be an outrageous comedy adventure, but, much like the music of Henry’s fictitious band, comes across as loud, obnoxious and with nothing meaningful to say.
The biggest issue faced by Gun Shy is its writing. It’s so concerned with trying to fool audiences into believing it’s a slick comedy by bombarding us with constant jokes that it forgets to address important issues like character development and narrative insofar as the film often feels like a compilation of gags edited together with moments of exposition to give the illusion of plot. Moreover, the majority of the humour comes from lazily written clichés so painful that it’s questionable whether Gun Shy was intended to be a serious comedy. However, with so many jokes being hammered out, some do actually land; one line involving why musicians can’t count money is particularly clever and an overly cheerful couple (played by Jeremy Swift and Anna Francolini) deliver some of the best laughs in the movie. It’s disappointing, then, that these glimmers of comedy are buried beneath so many misfires.
A further consequence of the poor writing is the characters themselves. They’re so one-note that there’s no room for any kind of significant characterisation; there’s barely any time spent building the relationship between Turk and his wife, Sheila (Olga Kurylenko), yet this relationship is supposed to serve as the picture’s emotional core. Despite the poor characterisation, the entire cast do give good performances throughout (specifically Banderas), they just don’t have much to work with. As seen in films like This Is Spinal Tap or The Rocker, the ageing musician persona has a lot of comedic potential, but Turk is too much of an idiotic blank slate to make any real impact. Throw in some special effects that make Birdemic and Sharknado look like Avatar, and we have Gun Shy.
With countless misfires and without engaging characters or plot, Gun Shy falls flat of becoming the outrageous romp it’s trying so hard to be with every bum note it hits. This is one rock show that shouldn’t be turned up to 11.
Gun Shy is released nationwide on 8th January 2018.
Watch the trailer for Gun Shy here: