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The Way of the Gun (2000): Don’t Rely on No One Else

The Way of the Gun (Christopher McQuarrie, 2000)

[originally posted 5Apr2001]

Ryan Phillippe and Benicio del Toro dominate the film's poster.

A fine cast, utterly wasted.
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The Way of the Gun gets my vote for “most boring action film of 2000” by a pretty wide margin. McQuarrie, who wrote one of the finest mysteries ever filmed (The Usual Suspects), takes his own turn at the directorial helm here, and let’s hope he learned from the many mistakes he made in his debut.

Phillippe and del Toro draw down on someone in a still from the film.

“Nobody move! Or…or you’ll get as dusty as us!”
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It’s a relatively simple premise—two down-on-their-luck small-time crooks, Parker and Longbaugh (Ryan Phillippe and Benicio del Toro, respectively) decide to kidnap the surrogate mother of an extremely wealthy family. Her two rather inept bodyguards, Jeffers and Obecks (Taye Diggs and Nicky Katt) pursue the two outlaws and their charge with much blowing up of things and lots of shots fired.

Phillippe relieves two mobsters of their guns in a still from the film.

“What we got here is a failure to pontificate.”
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Why such a can’t-miss premise with such a stellar cast (including Juliette Lewis as the kidnap victim and James Caan as a very honked-off surrogate father) could have taken such a boring turn is beyond me. Perhaps McQuarrie requires a Bryan Singer behind the camera to make his visions come to life. He, on the other hand, takes excellent actors and manages to make them lifeless. I didn’t think that was possible with Nicky Katt, but there ya go.

I didn’t think I’d see a worse film this year than After the Storm, but here it is. (zero)



About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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