A review by Edward Haynes
The Gunman is a Spanish/UK co-production based on the novel The Prone Gunman by French crime novelist Jean-Patrick Manchette.
The story begins in the Congo in 2006 as we see the United Nations providing humanitarian relief to war torn districts. Following a brief news presentation giving the audience a concise introduction to the story setting, we are introduced to the main characters: Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) who not only works in security but is also a skilled sniper; Annie (Jasmine Trinca) who works with the UN providing much needed medical relief; and Felix (Javier Bardem) who also works in security.
The story unfolds as we see Jim and Annie romantically involved with each other and Felix barely able to hide his jealousy. When Jim is forced to leave the Congo following a covert assassination operation, he is also forced to leave Annie behind.
The story develops 8 years later when Jim’s past starts to catch up him. The powers behind the assassination in 2006 now want the people involved eliminated as part of clearing house and ensuring complete deniability.
What follows is an action packed thriller with melancholic tones due to Jim Terrier suffering post-concussion syndrome. I found this movie to be adrenaline charged with fast paced action sequences reminiscent of The Bourne Conspiracy as it jumps across numerous countries.
The story design is consistently carried throughout the movie and yet requires some stretching of the imagination – just how many times can someone survive assassination attempts?
Overall I enjoyed The Gunman and would rate it 3 out of 5 stars.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Director: Pierre Morel
Writers: Jean-Patrick Manchette (novel), Don MacPherson, Pete Travis, Sean Penn
Stars: Sean Penn, Idris Elba, Jasmine Trinca
Running time: 115 minutes