Where the postmodern aesthetic becomes dangerous is in movies like this. Somebody like writer/director Eric Blakeney, whose only experience seems to be a couple of television films, takes a bunch of ideas he's seen in other films, makes a cinematic salad, and then slows the whole thing down to a pace that would irritate a medicated turtle.
Mostly this film is a lot of talk, which is completely backwards from how it should be. Plays are talk -- there's nowhere to go. Movies are movement and action. All undercover DEA agent Charlie Mayough (Liam Neeson) wants to talk about is how stressed he is and how his bowels are giving him trouble. He's involved in a big-time money-laundering scheme with a brutal gangster, Fulvio (Oliver Platt), and he's afraid he's going to get killed, which sends him running to the bathroom.
Blakeney and producer Sandra Bullock probably thought this was a funny idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't translate well on the screen. It works once and then you start to ruminate on the fact that the director seems awfully fascinated with Liam Neeson's bowels. Similarly, the idea of Sandra Bullock's character, Judy, giving Liam Neeson an enema probably seemed funny at first. Unfortunately, you witness it on the screen and it's like watching somebody's pet get run over.
Basically, Blakeney wrote a movie with a bunch of cute ideas and mistook them for a story. His awkward sense of style does little to distract us from this fact. He uses a weird slow-motion for his shoot-outs that looks like something John Woo would film after too many rides on "It's a Small World After All." When Fulvio starts whining about his problems, the film screams "Analyze This." If a computer analyzed and extracted the elements of successful comedies and then manufactured a screenplay, it would have exactly the same feeling as "Gun Shy" -- mechanical and boring.
To spread the word about this Gun Shy review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.