Sean Penn in The Gunman (2015)

Another Hitman and Her

Terrier (Sean Penn - The Tree of Life) was once part of an assassination squad who were hired to kill the minister of mine of the Congo. It meant that Terrier had to leave the Congo and go in to hiding, leaving behind his girlfriend who had no idea as to why he just left. But when many years later having returned to the Congo for a non-governmental organization Terrier finds himself the target of a hit squad it forces him to not just go into hiding again but get in contact with members of his old team to find out who is behind it. That brings him back in touch with his former girlfriend Annie (Jasmine Trinca) but also having to deal with blackouts brought on by damage to his brain from years of explosive impact.

I wonder whether the script for "The Gunman" had been limbo for 20 years prior to being made. I wonder because this story of an assassin finding himself a target of hitmen whilst fleeing with an attractive woman feels like the sort of movie Sylvester Stallone was making back in the mid 90s. The difference between "The Gunman" and say Stallone's "Assassins" is that it doesn't have a cheesy side, none of that bad dialogue delivered in an almost tongue in cheek manner. But beyond that the storyline to "The Gunman" is surprisingly ordinary.

Jasmine Trinca in The Gunman (2015)

What that simply means is that "The Gunman" ends up with a storyline which is basic, the revelations as to who is behind it are ordinary and the whole girlfriend aspect whilst pleasant is as typical as everything else in the movie. About the only thing which is different in "The Gunman" is the brain injury that are hero has which makes doing what he does best not always easy as he suffers blackouts at the worst of times. But in truth this feels like a gimmick rather than an integral part of the story.

What also ends up feeling a bit of a gimmick are the few familiar names in this as whilst Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Idris Elba all have pivotal scenes their screen time ends up feeling minimal. What that means is that this ends up feeling like the Sean Penn show and I use the word show as he spends plenty of time with his shirt off or in something sleeveless to highlight that he was in good shape.

What this all boils down to is that "The Gunman" ends up a middle of the road action movie which for some who are fans of Sean Penn might find disappointing due to it being such a generic movie.