30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Way of the Gun (DVD)First off if you're considering buying this movie, definitely read at least three pages of the reviews here and more if possible. You'll get a good feel of the film that way. Some folks get this movie and some have no clue at all.
I'm just going to add some comments that are lacking or that have been mis-stated.
First, only in the most loose definition of plot twists or subplots, does this film have either. The story is entirely linear, however you have to piece together parts of the story from sparse information. The story begins at least 9 months prior to when the movie starts with the relationship and "deal" between the bagman and the surrogate mother (but you don't know this until nearly the end and it's subtle enough to miss). The film story fully begins with the kidnapping. From that point on the various antagonists all see opportunities and then angle to make it happen, except for the bagman who is protecting more than his employer.
Second, this is not about petty crooks and a botched job. This is a story that involves professional criminals, professional mobsters and professional bodyguards, all of whom show clarity and intelligence beyond typical clever, one-liner, hollywood scripting.
The fact that police are only peripherally involved in any part of the film simply indicates that the dealings are far beyond your average cops and robbers style movie. This is a subculture that is not visible to normal society. The dialogue between Longbaugh and Sarno should illustrate this nicely. There is an understanding between them that goes well beyond the simple words. This is equally true for the relationship between Longbaugh and Parker, and Sarno and Abner - much is conveyed but little is said. This is a product of excellence in both acting and directing.
Lastly, the viewer is conflicted by the characters. Bodyguards should be good guys, but are not sympathetic and are really just mercenary. Chidduck is a bad person, but is the only person with a good intent. Longbaugh, Parker and Sarno are criminals pure and simple, but can be sympathetic. All of these characters show that the line between good/evil, or honor/dishonor, or morality, etc is a very blurry line, and one that the characters cross over without regret. There are no absolutes.
This is good script writing, because that does not happen by sheer good fortune.
One last thought. I feel that this film is better than the Usual Suspects. Simply because I think the Way of the Gun is more believable and more steeped in reality. The Usual Suspects to me was clever but ultimately a fantasy.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 20, 2011 1:04:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2011 1:04:35 PM PST
Evan W. Jenkins says:
This review is massively old, but I just have to post and say that this guy "gets it." If you are the kind of person who needs black and white characters, explained plot twists, and clear character relationships then you're not going to enjoy this film.
Posted on Feb 17, 2012 11:56:04 AM PST
Eric Sanberg says:
Eloquently stated. I saw this when it was first released on video and thought it was Okay, but never felt the need to re-visit it. After reading your treatment I now must go back and see it again.
Posted on Mar 20, 2012 6:17:58 PM PDT
Michael K. Lawson says:
I've spent a worse couple of hours, but the movie is a three star, maybe 4. The plot is actually very simple, but you can easily miss pieces of it. So what? The gratuitous violence is entertaining, but overall, kind of a bore. The various shooters are alternately great shooters, or absolutely bad. The room clearing maneuvers were surprisingly professional looking, just like we learned before deploying to Iraq. The petty criminals would have had military training to move like this.
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