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The Gunman/Rated R for ultra violence. Sex and drug use. Gaping holes in people with copious amounts of blood flowing.

This film should have been named The Gunman, Straight Shooter and gone straight to DVD. That may have give too much away. Here are more free giveaways. This is a film that is exactly like a thousand others made in the last 10 years. Killing. Intrigue without anybody caring. Then more killing. Sean Penn stars as an assassin turned well driller who is forced back into action.

As the movie opens, he and a team of assassins have the job of knocking off corrupt Oil Ministers in the Government of the Congo. When Sean gives up his girlfriend because he expects to get killed, his rival and team member Javier Bardem promises to take care of her. SP survives. Eight years pass and SP now drills wells to help the Congolese get water. Then there’s some shooting and he rushes off to London then on to Barcelona for more shooting. He finds out that somebody knows something about what happened and somebody else wants everybody dead who knows something. We don’t know or care what it is, as the story so far hasn’t made sense anyway.

Once in Barcelona the shootings increase and more bodies pile up everywhere. Somebody has turned traitor. Javier B. seems to have the right idea, staying drunk so he can slur his way through the unintelligible and meaningless lines. SP aka The Gunman and his girlfriend are on the run. More killings and violence follow. Eventually they all end up in the bullring. They are hoping that since the movie audience is mostly asleep the shouts of Ole will wake them up and rouse them to the spirit of the film.

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It doesn’t help. This film is a blatant Bourne rip–off with a man who is a super killing machine on the run with a helpless girl. The action sequences are set for about every 15 minutes and are cleverly staged, but extremely violent and bloody. The big revelation is not much of a revelation as almost everything is as predictable as finding lots of cars in a Wal-Mart parking lot in December The Gunman runs almost two hours. Wise editing could have easily just cut it down to the 60 minutes of action sequences, as we all knew where the story was headed anyway. The finale comes during the Big Bullfight scene in Barcelona. Bullfighting was banned there several years ago. Apparently bad filmmaking is still OK.

Rated 2.0 out of 4.0 reasons we are hoping for no sequels.

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