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The Way of the Gun

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Way of the Gun

Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Ryan Phillippe
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Rated: R
RunTime: 118 Minutes
Release Date: September 2000
Genres: Noir, Suspense, Thriller

*Also starring: James Caan, Taye Diggs, Juliette Lewis, Nicky Katt, Geoffrey Lewis, Scott Wilson

Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, who won an Oscar for "The Usual Suspects," makes an auspicious directorial debut with this crime thriller about two small-time crooks who call themselves Parker (Ryan Phillippe) and Longbaugh (Benicio Del Toro), the real surnames of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They're raising capital by selling their sperm in L.A. when they overhear a conversation about Robin (Juliette Lewis) who has been hired for $1 million by a wealthy couple to be a surrogate mother. Immediately, they concoct a kidnapping/ransom scheme. But when they unconventionally abduct the waddling, very-pregnant Robin from her obstetrician's office, despite the presence of her bodyguards (Taye Diggs, Nicky Katt), and hide her in a hotel in Mexico, complications begin, and she gives birth in the midst of a gunfight. What the inept, sociopathic thugs don't know is that the biological father (Scott Wilson) of the newborn boy, the man they're shaking down for $15 million, launders money for organized crime and that he's hired a mob-connected "fixer" (James Caan) to take care of the situation. (Curiously, the "fixer" has an assistant who in real-life is Geoffrey Lewis, Juliette Lewis's father). One of the menacing Caan's better lines is "I can promise you a day of reckoning that you will not live long enough to never forget." As you might expect from a Christopher McQuarrie script, the confusing plot twists and turns, tricky double-cross following tricky double-cross, within back-stabbing sub-plots, and nothing is ever exactly what you expect it to be except, perhaps, the shoot-'em'up finale. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Way of the Gun" scores a slow-paced but grimly stylish, snarling 4, profane and violent from start to finish - with not one likable character.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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