Tagged: Guns Akimbo

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.

Year: 2019

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:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Guns Akimbo (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Guns Akimbo Reviews:

Nil.

 

Trailer:

 

They say that the lights never go out in Hollywood. Well if they aren’t fully out at the moment then they are certainly very, very dim. As the Covid-19 virus goes on its deadly wave right across the planet Hollywood and the world’s film industry has become one of its biggest victims.

Right now as i write this this most of the world’s cinemas are in darkness – the projectors have stopped and the doors are closed. In Thailand cinemas are closed until April 1st while in America the cinemas are closed indefinitely. In Australia the cinema chains desperately tried to keep the doors open, but finally the week came where only one new film opened in cinemas and as people had started to fear going out in public the film was playing to empty cinemas. When you consider that film was The Current War starring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Tom Holland the fact it wasn’t drawing an audience just went to show how afraid people really were. Luckily the nation’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the decision for the cinema bosses when he included cinemas in the list of non-essential services that had to close as the nation went into a Stage One lockdown.

For the rest of the world the first inkling that Covid-19 was going to hit the cinema industry hard was when Sony Pictures made the announcement that they were postponing the release date of the latest Bond film No Time To Die. Sony, it seemed made the right call especially after we all saw the hit that the much-hyped Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel took upon its released. Its studio decided to brave the Covid affected cinema numbers and released the film amidst the chaos – the result was taking just nine million dollars at the box office in its first week of release in the USA. Desperate not to see the same fate happen to Diesel’s other blockbuster – Fast & Furious 9 – its studio decided to push its release back to 2021.

Some companies decided to get creative. Realising that they were going to have a captive housebound audience for potentially the next few months Universal Pictures have decided to chance its arm and in some territories has released potential blockbusters The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour onto streaming services. It now seems likely that Disney will do the same with the eagerly anticipated Pixar animation Onward.

While the release dates of some of the year’s biggest films seem to be moving around like chess pieces on a board it leaves us with one big question – if Thailand’s cinemas do re-open on April 1st what do audiences have to look forward to? While films such as Daniel Radcliffe’s all action affair Guns Akimbo and new horror film Fantasy Island are slated for release not long after the doors open for several months audiences will have to watch locally made films and smaller international films while Hollywood prepares to re-launch itself with their all-conquering blockbusters. That is not necessarily a bad thing though as it means for awhile locally made films will have very little competition at the box-office for awhile.

Of course box office aside Covid-19 has also had catastrophic affect on the people of Hollywood and film industries right around the world. At the moment every major studio in America has shutdown production meaning that hundreds of thousands of people are currently out of work – many not knowing when those studio doors will open again.

The human side of Covid-19 in Hollywood became even more apparent when two of its biggest stars tested positive to the deadly virus. In Australia working on a new movie about the life of Elvis Presley Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus resulting in Australia’s Nine Network television network having to place some of their on-air talent in isolation after they had come in contact with the pair. It was later proven that Nine’s head Entertainment Reporter Richard Wilkins had actually contracted Covid-19 after interviewing Wilson.

The next Hollywood celebrity to test positive to Covid-19 was Thor: Ragnarok and Star Trek Beyond star Idris Elba and only a few hours ago it was confirmed that former Hollywood producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive to the virus in prison.

Globally nobody has been able to safely predict when the Covid-19 crisis might be over but the one thing we do know is it is going to take a long time for Hollywood to recover from cinema’s darkest days.

After working in the visual effects department on massive blockbuster movies like Avengers and The Hobbitt filmmaker Jason Lei Howden went out on his own in 2015 and made the cult classic action horror film Deathgasm. The film became a fan favourite at festivals right around the world and now Howden returns with his latest film – Guns Akimbo – which is going straight into Australian cinemas on February 28th.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving Guns Akimbo follows the story of a young games developer who suddenly finds himself in a cat and mouse game of survival with a psychopath after his interactions with an online, reality game go horribly wrong.

“The idea came from my love of 80s action movies,” says Howden when I get the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about all the ins and out of Guns Akimbo. “There were movies like Commando and Rambo of course, there were always those movies with the big buff action hero and they would be shooting like fifty people.”

“So I wanted to make an over-the-top action movie but instead of having Arnie as a hero I wanted to have the total opposite. So I ended up with a programming nerd with the guns on the hand. When I thought about I thought he would sit back or run away but then I thought what if he has the guns bolted to his hands so it is either shoot or die, it all kind of came from that.”

Then there is the smart-mouth psychopath Nix played by Samara Weaving who Howden also let his creativity run wild with. “I didn’t want her to be the standard femme fatale,” he explains. “I wanted her to be cool and fun but I felt her being a female baddie should not be her defining trait. I feel so many times when a female character is depicted that becomes the defining trait of the character, but she is not just a person she is a fucking psychopath.”

“Then there was some pressure from the producers to make her more sexy or to make her like Harley Quinn,” he goes on to say. “I had to keep saying ‘but she isn’t Harley Quinn, she hasn’t got time to sit there and make colourful clothes all day’, she puts on her jacket and jeans and goes and shoots fuckers all day. We ended up bleaching her eyebrows and putting tattoos and piercings on her and the producers were really freaking out and saying ‘she looks really un-appealing.’ But Samara and I just stuck to our guns… that is an awful pun… and I am glad we did.’”

That leads me to ask whether Samara Weaving was always in mind to play Nix. “No, we shopped around a little bit,” he admits. “I don’t think Nix was really written with anyone in mind because originally she was going to be a male character and I figured out really on that that didn’t really suit the story that I wanted to tell, it seemed to work better with Miles up against a female character. I had seen Samara in a couple of things – I thought she was great in The Babysitter so I knew she would bring something different to the role and that she had a great comedic timing which was cool.”

Of course the other big casting news around Guns Akimbo was Daniel Radcliffe being cast as Miles. And while some people maybe a little surprised that the actor who portrayed Harry Potter is now in an action film they should be reminded that this is the same actor who did films like Horns and Woman In Black. “I had a short list of about five actors and Dan was on the top of that list,” says Howden as we talk about how Radcliffe won the role. “I was really excited about Dan, but not because of the Harry Potter movies. I mean I like the Harry Potter movies but I loved him in Woman In Black, The Horns and especially Swiss Army Man which is a fantastic movie. So, I guess I really don’t get the whole Harry Potter thing around this film, but I see it has become a meme and we had people yelling it out on the street when we were trying to film which was really annoying.”

“But yeah I think he is like Elijah Wood,” he goes on to explain. “Or maybe it is a little worse for Dan because he did nine Harry Potter movies, Elijah Wood did three Lord Of The Rings movies and Kristen Stewart did five Twilight films but they don’t seem to be as related to their roles, plus Harry Potter movies were such a huge part of people’s childhoods as well. But as far as casting goes we went to Dan first and I heard back that he was interested which was quite mind-blowing because the casting process is a bit of a wing and prayer. You got out to people and they pass, so yeah it was a surprise that he was so excited by us and when I Skyped him he was like ‘dude I fucking love this movie man.’”

That statement alone shows what kind of man Daniel Radcliffe is because that seems to be what most people are saying after they have seen Guns Akimbo as well. It is a cult classic in the making and Howden has made another winner.