Director: Jason Lei Howden
Starring: Samara Weaving, Daniel Radcliffe, Rhys Darby, Mark Rowley, Ned Dennehy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo
Runtime: 98 minutes
Whoever convinced Daniel Radcliffe that he could be the star of an action film, I want you to take a good, hard look in the mirror and see what an utter abomination and excuse for a human being you are. Guns Akimbo is definitive proof that Radcliffe cannot do that, and it’s also definitive proof that Jason Lei Howden shouldn’t write or direct ever again.
Plot-wise Guns Akimbo has little there. Radcliffe has guns stapled to his hands and is told to kill Nix (Samara Weaving) or else she’ll kill him. From that point onwards it’s a game of cat-and-mouse if the cat and mouse were filmed by somebody with the technical skill of an actual mouse. There are multiple moments throughout the story that feel like they have potential, but they’re almost instantly shot down (literally, in one case) in favour of a generic action story.
Howden also directs Guns Akimbo with the skill of a child, with certain shots being randomly shaky because he thought it would look cool to just cut to shaky-cam every now and again. There’s absolutely no shots or pieces of action that stick out and are memorable, everything just blends together into a mess of gunshots and ugly landscapes.
Radcliffe just brings nothing to the lead role of Miles, a black void with no charisma and absolutely nothing for the viewer to enjoy. Samara Weaving tries her hardest with the material that Howden has given her, but even she can’t make the film a joy to watch. It’s just a slog that despite being relatively short, feels like it goes on for hours on end. The villain is so generically awful that it’s like watching a caricature, except they take him totally seriously and expect the viewer to actually think he’s at all a threat. Riktor may rank as one of the worst villains of 2019, with the performance by Ned Dennehey feeding into that ranking in no small part. Just altogether bland and dull, with nothing new or interesting being brought to the table apart from generic action villain tropes that were done better decades ago in far better films.
While Guns Akimbo calls itself an action-comedy, there are no laughs to be found here, and there’s very little in the way of worthwhile action. There’s maybe one setpiece in the entirety of the film that’s any fun at all, and even then it’s not particularly noteworthy or stand-out. The only good things this film has going for it is that Weaving makes her role barely tolerable in spite of the writing and that it clocks in at an hour and a half. Mercifully short for a film this abysmal.
Just awful. From top to bottom filled with cringe-inducing dialogue and jokes, and directed by somebody who has seemingly only seen Deadpool as a point of reference, Guns Akimbo is a laughable excuse for an action film.