Film Scouts Reviews

"Gun Shy"

by Thom Bennett

Starring: Liam Neeson, Sandra Bullock, Oliver Platt, Jose Zuniga, Michael Delorenzo, Andy Lauer, Richard Schiff, Paul Ben-Victor, Gregg Daniel, Ben Weber
Produced by Sandra Bullock and Roger Birnbaum.
Written and Directed by Eric Blakeney.

Can a shell-shocked DEA agent fall in love with the woman who just gave him an enema and ride off into the sunset?

"Gun Shy" is the most recent member of the unfortunate fraternity of films in limbo. Every year, after Summer Blockbusters, Holiday Films and award buzz subsides, there remains a handful of leftover, bordering on dreadful films that the studios simply do not know what to do with. These are the films we are left to muddle through for the first few months of every year until the studios get their collective conscience back (somewhat) and begin to trot out their hopefully better fare.

The story deals with an undercover DEA agent (Liam Neeson) who has had enough, yet must still wrap up one last case so that he car retire to the "ocean view" he rambles on about. However, things get complicated (as they so often do) when he gets involved simultaneously with his new-found support group, a hot-head gangster with (Oliver Platt) and the new love of his life (Sandra Bullock).

This is the type of film that taken on premise alone should be funny. Yet premise does not a movie make and "Gun Shy" suffers from trying to do too many things at once and none particularly well. It is not funny enough to be the spoof it wants to be, exciting or suspenseful enough to support the action scenes, and there is not enough chemistry between Neeson and Bullock to light a match, much less carry a love story.

Bullock (who also served as producer) turns in what can be considered little more than a cameo appearance in the film – and an unnecessary one at that. Her character and the paper-thin love story that she brings with her, seems as though they were added in after the fact.

Short of a rather funny performance by Oliver Platt as the bumbling wiseguy by cliché, whose dream it is to grow tomatoes in Sicily, "Gun Shy" is a rather hackneyed comedy lacking in both laughs and substance. Its relegation to the January / February cinematic dumping ground is no great mystery.

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