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The Mass Media

Sean Penn’s ‘The Gunman’ Falls Short

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Sean Penn Stars in ‘Gunman’ in Theaters Now

As far as action movies go, “The Gunman,” directed Pierre Morel, is pretty average. Starring Sean Penn, this film is about Terrier, a mercenary sniper who goes into hiding after a successful assassination. However, he is forced out of hiding when he and his old team are being targeted for death. From the producers of Taken, this film is basically a stereotypical action thriller, providing nothing more than a cheap thrill.
The one thing I hate the most in a film is when they promise an actor for a main role, but it turns out they are hardly in it. In this case I was promised Idris Elba, but he was only in the film for a total of 5 minutes. It is a very cheap ploy to get people to see the film, but all it provides is disappointment. Also, this is not Sean Penn’s best work by far. His character is very bland and unbelievable. The only redeeming actor in this film is Javier Bardem, playing the role of Felix, the man who stole Sean Penn’s love interest in the film. It is nearly impossible for Bardem to have a bad role though, so it does not count for much.
As for the plot of this film, it is the generic action thriller plot. A man highly skilled in the art of killing does something he regrets deeply while losing the love of his life. Time passes and he has turned over a new leaf. Meanwhile, the past comes back to haunt him, revealing that people he used to work with betrayed him. He comes out of retirement to kick ass and save himself, while their love interest also reappears, giving the main character a reason to fight. You see this over and over again in action films. It seems the originality is almost completely gone.
Even the action sequences in this film weren’t up to par. As much as I enjoy seeing shirtless Sean Penn fighting bad guys, it never varies. It’s almost the same fight over and over again. As for the current state of action movies, it was not that bad. It was enough to keep me watching until the end, and you do end up rooting pretty heavily for Penn’s character. It just feels like something we’ve all seen a lot of before. Overall, I would not rate this film to highly, let alone recommend you seeing it in theatres. Instead just stay home and rent John Wick.