Two petty if violent criminals kidnap a girl being paid $1m to be a surrogate mother. As the baby is for a gangster the pair's demand for money sees several henchmen and assorted other ruthless characters head after them to Mexico. Bullets rather than talking are always going to settle this one. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The original painting by "Oliver Dear", that is hanging in the Mexican brothel scene was originally painted and used in the TV movie Purgatory (1999). See more »
During a game of Hearts in the motel room, the number of cards in Longbaugh's hand changes. As the camera goes around showing the characters, he somehow loses several cards, which reappear in the next shot. See more »
Does one usually go into an action film starring Ryan Phillipe expecting to think, expecting to be challenged. I did not, in this case. And so, as I found myself confronted by this extraordinarily cool contemporary crime/western, I was shocked. This has all the makings of a generic film. The philosophical/amoral central team... could've been Pulp Fiction redux. The wise older criminal sharing his wisdom with those below him... If I really went into all the elements of this movie that could've been handled as shameless rip offs of other films, that list alone would take me over 1,000 words.
The brilliance of this film is that MacQuarrie, impressively directing for the first time from his own script, takes familiar elements, tired cliches, and breaths new, inventive life into them. This is a neat hat trick, and not an easy one. Godard did it with HIS first film, Breathless. Tarantino did it with Pulp Fiction. And MacQuarrie does it here. Note that the aforementioned instance is the only place where you will hear a mention of Tarantino similarities in this review. Those who would criticize Way of the Gun as being derivative of Taranton's film are missing the point and not really watching the film.
This film reflects an utter familiarity with the conventions of CINEMA. Of the things that go into a great film. Knowing those thigns so well, as Godard did, allows MacQuarrie to become freed enough to work with them, change them, and make them become something knew. It is quite an achievement, and this is quite an awesome film.
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