Summary: Miles is stuck in a dead-end job, still in love with his ex-girlfriend Nova. Unbeknownst to him, a gang called Skizm is running a deadly competition within his city in which complete strangers fight to the death for the entertainment of an online audience of millions. Miles soon finds himself caught up in the game and forced to fight in a battle to the death. Initially, Miles’ lifetime of running from his problems pays off as he manages to elude his first opponent but when Nova is kidnapped, he must finally stop running and overcome his fears to fight for the girl he loves.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th February 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th April 2020
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand
Director: Jason Lei Howden
Screenwriter: Jason Lei Howden
Cast: Anne Alexander-Sieder (Martha Seabert), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Nova), Grant Bowler (Degraves), Milo Cawthorne (Hadley), Logan Cole (Daddy Doubletaps), Rhys Darby (Glenjamin), Ned Dennehy (Riktor), Hanako Footman (Ruby), Stephen Grey (Vadim), Jacqueline Lee Guerts (Irine Degraves), Aaron Jackson (Clement), Richard Knowles (Xander), Aaron McGregor (Jock), Colin Moy (Clive), Racheal Ofori (Effie), Bella Paddin (Young Nix), Daniel Radcliffe (Miles), Jack Riddiford (Shadwell), Mark Rowley (Dane), Set Sjostrand (Fuckface), Josh Thomson (Grim), Janos Tiborcz (Graveworm), Samara Weaving (Nix), Joe Witkowski (Longshot), Edwin Wright (Stanton)
Running Time: 95 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia) TBC (Thailand)
OUR GUNS AKIMBO REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Guns Akimbo Review:
I have always felt for young actors and actresses who seem to have their careers tarnished by the very role that made them famous. A lot of people seem to disagree that it even happens but then how many times did you hear ‘not that guy from Twilight’ when Robert Pattinson was recently cast as Batman?
What the actor really needs is a role that is so far removed from their early career that it makes audiences see them in a different light, why do you think so many young stars try to do a role that involves nudity as soon as they turn eighteen?
One actor that has been desperately trying to break the mould set for him by his breakout role is Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe has tried so valiantly to try and shake off the Harry Potter tag – he’s done Australian films, gone to the dramatic extremes in Kill Your Darlings but the tag only seemed to lift a little when he stunned cinema-goers with the obscure but brilliant Swiss Army Man. Now Radcliffe hopes to shrug off the rest of that tag with a sheer brilliant performance in a film that is guaranteed to become a cult classic – Guns Akimbo.
Here Radcliffe plays Miles, a games programmer who is stuck in a dead-end job that he loathes with a boss who is nothing but a bully. While he hates his job, he hates his life even more as his recent separation from his girlfriend Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo – Hotel Mumbai) only seems to remind him just how in love with her he was.
In a state of boredom one night he leaves a trolling comment on the website of a popular death match reality game that is being run by an extremely violent organisation called Skizm. Angered by the comment the group’s leader, the psychopathic Riktor (Ned Dennehy – Mandy) has Miles captured and then has his goons bolt weapons to his hands. He then places Miles in the game and has him compete against the reigning champion, the criminally insane Nix (Samara Weaving – Ready Or Not), who believes one more kill will see her free of the game and then finally able to live her life the way that she wants to.
If the plot sounds insane it is because that is exactly what it is. It is the last kind of film that you would ever expect Radcliffe to want to be cast in yet somehow his performance grouped together by the fact that the film is in the capable hands of Deathgasm director Jason Lei Howden sees it become a cult classic that cinema lovers are going to lap up right away.
One of the keys to the film working is the fact that Howden is a cult film lover himself. His love for video games and 1980s action films here is so obvious. The film almost seems to have ‘levels’ that the characters have to get past while the fact that his graphic violence was certain to attract a R Rating also didn’t seem to scare him. At times it feels like as a director he was saying ‘let’s put another headshot in there’ and see what they do. Then there is also a killer soundtrack that features everyone from Dead Or Alive to Cypress Hill and even Iggy Pop. What Howden has made here is a film that he himself would want to watch and the result is one of the best action films of the past few years.
That is further enhanced by the fact that as a filmmaker Howden doesn’t try to make Guns Akimbo anything that it’s not. It’s a basic shoot-‘em up with a little bit of humour thrown in for good measure. And while the film doesn’t strive to be anything else it does end up making a lot of commentary about the morals of modern day reality television and delivering a better female hero than even Birds of Prey could manage.
Yes, we may have been blown away by Samara Weaving’s recent performances in The Babysitter and Ready Or Not but here she takes her acting to a whole new level. Weaving doesn’t just stop at having fun during some daring action sequences instead she brings real characterisation to a character that could have easily become a one-dimensional anti-hero. Even when she is trying to hunt down and kill everyone’s favourite loser – Miles – you can’t help but feel a little bit of remorse for Nix, despite her being a bad-ass.
Then there is Radcliffe who seems to embrace the fact that he is given the opportunity to play such an off-beat character. Like Weaving he mixes characterisation with action and seems to deliver just the right amount of method acting to show that perhaps a lot of cinema-goers have misjudged Radcliffe on just how good his acting ability can be. His scene with Rhys Darby in this film shows he also has a flair for comedy as well.
If you like your action flick to be a little left of centre and bordering on the gruesome then Guns Akimbo is the film for you. The fresh creative nature of the film shows why Jason Lei Howden is a director who can potentially breathe a new sense creativity into the action genre, while the film itself is the perfect vehicle to show that world that Daniel Radcliffe has well and truly outgrown his Harry Potter wand.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Guns Akimbo Reviews: