The trailer for “Gun Shy” tells us the movie is directed by Simon West, who has given us “Con Air,” “The Expendables 2” and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”
Depending on whether you like bombastic, action-packed thrillers populated by colorful characters wisecracking their way through ludicrous plots as the gratuitous violence flies about in all directions, you’ll either take that as an enticement to see “Gun Shy” — or a warning to stay far away.
In this case, might I recommend the latter option?
Although directed with some degree of style and possessing a manic personality that keeps one watching long after one has stopped caring about the stupid plot machinations, “Gun Shy” is a loud bang signifying nothing, a tired and second-rate actioner — and an embarrassing resume entry for the likes of Antonio Banderas (“Desperado,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”) and Olga Kurylenko (“Oblivion,” “Quantum of Solace”).
Kurylenko delivers forgettable work in a forgettable role. Banderas, on the other hand, opted to GO BIG OR GO HOME, and the nicest thing I can say about that is he would have been better off going home.
Sporting oversized bandanas, a ridiculous wig seemingly plucked at random from the wardrobe department and hippie-dippie garb that makes him look like a medicinal marijuana vendor, Banderas plays one Turk Henry (pronounced “en-REE”), a once-dominant metal rocker with albums such as “Metal Assassin” and singles such as “Teenage …”
Well. I neither can nor desire to tell you the full title of that song.
Turk is now well past his prime but still hanging onto all the trappings and privileges that come with rock stardom. (Faux black-and-white photos and video music clips from Turk’s glory days purporting to show him in his prime do NOT convince us this guy was ever a huge star. Sure, there’s supposed to be a little bit of a “Spinal Tap” vibe here — the titles of Turk’s hit songs and albums are obviously intended for laughs — but Turk’s music is neither catchy nor funny.) Kurylenko plays Turk’s wife Sheila, a former supermodel who is called his “Yoko Ono.” (Ha. Ha.)
While on vacation in Chile, Sheila is kidnapped by a hapless band of thugs who demand a ransom of one million dollars. Through a variety of convoluted circumstances, it’s ultimately up to the narcissistic, perpetual adolescent Turk, who can scarcely get dressed in the morning without help, to ensure his wife’s safe return.
Turk gets ahold of a million dollars, not that he can count to a million. (“The main reason I became a musician is we only have to count to four.”) In the meantime, Sheila develops a bond of sorts with her captor.
All sorts of setbacks and wrinkles occur. We think someone is dead — but IS that person really dead? We think we can identify the good guys and the bad guys — but can we REALLY? Turk uses a rolling suitcase as a vehicle for a crazy madcap sequence through the streets. A giant snake attacks a main character and bites it in the exact anatomical region you’d expect such an attack to occur.
Oh, and Banderas dons a wig even more horrible than the main wig he wears in this movie, along with a red skirt-and-sweater combo and heels, as part of an elaborate scheme.
It’s loud and dumb and irritating and forgettable.
Saban Films and Lionsgate present a film directed by Simon West and written by Mark Haskell Smith and Toby Davis. Rated R (forlanguage, some sexual content/nudity and drug material). Running time: 86 minutes. Opens Friday at AMC Woodridge and on demand.