The Way of the Gun.......................a shockingly bad movie.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, May 31, 2002.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I watched The Way of the Gun last night. I remember having seen it in the theater and being disappointed. I remember it being all-over the place. Lacking interesting characters, coherance, or a decent structure. Boy did I remember wrong. This is pure and simple, an absolute train wreck of a film! It's probably one of the most sloppily constructed plots I've ever had the misfortune of witnessing. It's probably the most pretentious script ever written, and is filled with dreadful lines like:
    "Are you comfortable. We're gonna take your baby now."
    "Creative articulation my man."
    "A plan is a list of things that don't happen."
    "Since Baltimore I knew you were for sale."
    I tried so desperately hard to forget these lines after I heard them, that I'm not sure they're 100% correct. [​IMG]
    I also found it really annoying that they kept on using the line "Till that day." as a means of saying goodbye. Just plain dumb. There's a huge amount of posturing that is absolutely NOT necessary and not even slightly cool. If they cut out all the meaningless looks, it'd run in at maybe 12 minutes. What a ghastly mess. It also manages to make stirling actors like James Caan and Benicio Del Toro look like idiots. Ryan Phillipe and Juliette Lewis also don't come out smelling of roses. What amazes me more than how bad it is, is the fact that I remember it got a number of rave reviews from some critics. [​IMG] Some even used words like "masterpiece". [​IMG]
    I remember McQuarrie being praised for not surfing the Tarantino wave when he wrote the scipt for Usual Suspects, but this is the most shameful attempt to cash in on that "type" of film. Absolute rubbish. My opinion is so strong, that it prompted me to write out my thoughts. Its also one of the few films I've seen, (along with Entrapment and a few others) that actually makes me angry thinking about it.
    Just thought I'd share. [​IMG]
    EDIT: Oh, and I thought the score was good. [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I liked the first half hour or so...but it is a train wreck. Not likely I'll ever watch it again...
     
  3. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    I enjoyed it.
     
  4. Brian Kaz

    Brian Kaz Second Unit

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    I thought the gunplay was very interesting and I like the strategy they used to get out of mess.

    Other than that, meh...
     
  5. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    I absolutely love The Way of the Gun! It's a metaphor for independent filmmaking.
     
  6. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    How's that Luc?
     
  7. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    The opening was great, and the first bit afterwards was funny, but the rest fell terribly flat. Nicky Katt and Taye Diggs, two of the most interesting and enjoyable actors working today, were completely wasted.

    DJ
     
  8. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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  9. Chris Harvey

    Chris Harvey Second Unit

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    Wow -- I guess I'm one of the few who genuinely enjoyed all of it. Thought the double-crosses were clever, enjoyed all the performances, liked the action set-pieces (though the final one went on a bit long and the ending petered out a bit).
     
  10. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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  11. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, that movie blew chunks.
     
  12. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    It sucked. It looked like it could of had alot of potential.
     
  13. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Hey Chris!
    I thought this film was ok. It is flawed and often pretentious, but it also has some great Peckinpah-ish style, some insightful satirical humor, some ingenious set pieces (a slow car chase? Classic stuff [​IMG]), and Caan and Del Toro are in high gear (as is Juliette Lewis' dad).
    And don't discount the fact that this whole film is McQuarrie's "hate letter" to studios. He couldn't write anything he wanted after the success of "Usual Suspects". The only thing anyone would pay him for was a crime story. So, he gave them one - and he went WAY over the top on purpose. It treads a fine line between satire and style.
    Watch it again, Paul. Entrapment IS horrible...you're right about that. But, beyond some story problems and pretentious dialogue, this film is far better than you're giving it credit for.
     
  14. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    YES!!! Someone who agrees with me. This movie was complete and utter garbage, and it amazes me that lots and lots of people like it! So much talent wasted on crap.
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I found the commentary more entertaining than the actual film.
     
  16. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    Matt, McQuarrie mentions this idea about how The Way of the Gun is a metaphor for independent filmmaking a few times on the Commentary track and so I watched the film with this in mind and this is what I came up with:

    The first thing to take under consideration is that the unborn child represents the film in production. The two crooks who kidnap the woman carrying the child are thus the filmmakers. I know, it sounds a little far fetched but it actually makes sense as the film progresses. The narrative then follows along the path of a “cat and mouse” chase but the prevailing theme throughout is one of compromise. At each turn the two crooks must take less than they expected and take whatever is available. The film’s climax is perhaps the most telling if I am to interpret the film this way. At this point, the crooks find themselves in a Mexican brothel, where the mobsters are forcibly birthing the baby in the bloodiest, most disturbing birth I have ever seen on film. Clearly, this birth is meant as the film being taken away from the filmmakers and being prematurely released before it is complete. Meanwhile, the two crooks have to deal with the “bag men” (old white dinosaurs = studio heads) and collect the fifteen million in ransom (which is near or around how much an independent/low budget film costs these days). A bloody gun fight ensues where the crooks once again have to compromise and try to run away with at least part of the money. In the end, they get nothing and are left for dead, bloodied and baking in the Mexican sun.

    It's a shame people dismiss this film so readily. Of course it's flawed, but to say that it "blows chunks" is unfair and not very constructive. The crime genre has become so stale and generic over the years that I think people should at least give The Way of the Gun a second chance. I just love the film's hyper-realistic vibe, it's so bizarre and strangely compelling to have such gruesome violence mixed in with this strange kind of elegant criminal dialect and philosophy. And to have such vile and inhuman characters populate the film is also a bold move, I think. It doesn't always work, but I credit McQuarrie for trying to bring something new to the genre. I for one have yet to see a crime film that I could compare this to. I think it's far too rich and intelligent a film to just dismiss after one viewing.

    Oh, and it has an absolutely amazing performance by James Caan.
     
  17. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I strongly disagree. [​IMG]
     
  18. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    To each his own, Paul...
    A slow car chase, IMO, is both hilarious and ingenious.
    Caan is on TOP of his game in this film.
    As I said, he COULDN'T make any other kind of film. No one would let him!
    I'm obviously not going to change your mind...but, I CAN get more discussion over the merits of this film into this thread so we can actually have a conversation about it... [​IMG]
     
  19. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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  20. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "It doesn't make sense on any level. The purpose of a car chase is for the party being chased to get away from the party chasing"
    They did get away didnt they? The point of the car chase is exactly how it ended.They tricked their pursuers(who ended up in a smashed car with injuries) and got away.And they didnt go roaring through the streets attracting cops helicopters and everything else(which is what you usually get in a movie like this).

    My brother watched my DVD and commented immediately on the brilliance of the car scene.

    I agree with all the "Bad/Horrible Crime Formula Movies" out there this is a breathe of fresh air.
    I also enjoyed the immoral characters and some of the dialogue is very snappy "Shut that c*nts mouth before I come over there and f*ck start her head"(true a few lines are a bit too much as well).

    I also think he made this as a finger gesture at the business and movie goers as well. Its a very graphic movie and I think he was trying to push as many buttons as possible.

    I'd take Way of the Gun over Amercian Beauty,Titanic or Gladiator anyday.
     

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