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die in a gunfight

★★

director: Collin Schiffli (animals)

starring: Alexandra Daddario, Diego Boneta, Travis Fimmel and Kaya Scodelario

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

A man and his old flame cross paths with an assortment of schemers and killers.

This looks like a tale almost as old as time. Playing like a modern day Romeo and Juliet with a whole lot of bullets, Die in a Gunfight looked like a film loaded with a lot of promise. Unfortunately Die in a Gunfight is filled with clunky dialogue filled with too much exposition, characters that you don’t really warm to and action sequences that feel pretty generic. 

 

Mary (Alexandra Daddario) and Ben (Diego Boneta) are the star-crossed black sheep of two powerful families engaged in a centuries-long feud – and they’re about to reignite an affair after many years apart. Their forbidden love will trigger the dominoes that will draw in Mukul (Wade Allain-Marcus), Ben’s best friend, who owes him a life debt; Terrence (Justin Chatwin), Mary’s would-be protector-turned-stalker; Wayne (Travis Fimmel), an Aussie hitman with an open mind and a code of ethics; and his free-spirited girlfriend, Barbie (Emmanuelle Chriqui). As fists and bullets fly, it becomes clear that violent delights will have violent ends.

 

Die in a Gunfight tries to employ techniques like Guy Ritchie, Robert Rodriguez and to a lesser extent Zach Snyder use in their films: a narrator spit firing dialogue, split screens, and bizarre characters. But while those directors used those techniques as meat on the bones of a solid narrative and characters, here it's the whole spine. 

 

Constantly using narrative instead of explanatory visuals, split screens that aren’t used inventively and bonkers characters that are out of kilter with the other straight laced characters that dominate the film, it all feels a little clunky and a bit messy. 

 

Unfortunately Die in a Gunfight is filled with clunky dialogue filled with too much exposition, characters that you don’t really warm to and action sequences that feel pretty generic.

★★