Guns Akimbo ★★★½

The worst movie from 2020 I’ve liked so far. 

I’m ever so slightly ashamed to have enjoyed this, with the never-endless bashing this film has received on here. I’m not surprised though. Guns Akimbo isn’t necessarily your typical arthouse coming-of-age drama with deeply introspective themes, thought-provoking subject matters, or boundary-pushing experimentation for Letterboxd users to feast on. It’s the exact opposite. 

At the same time, if you’re looking for harmless action-packed fun, this is absolutely it. 

Guns Akimbo is a mindless, guns blazing spectacle. Nothing about it is original or subversive. Yet, I find myself pleasantly surprised with the idea that I can just turn my brain off for 97 minutes, and enjoy the show. Defending a guilty pleasure is painful but I still find myself doing it. Even if this turns out another horribly aged opinion, I’d rather stick with it than be completely spineless. 

From a visual standpoint, Guns Akimbo is a chaotic, turbulent mind-fuck assaulting you with twirling Dutch angles. The editing ends up on the same page, with the spinning frames trying to look as deranged as possible. All of it backs the ridiculous, over-the-top, and absurd action narrative with sequences that are both surprisingly hilarious and magnetic. I liked the ludicrous personality to it. Its sole purpose is to try to mesmerize you with adrenaline-pumping nonsense, and it’s not afraid to hide it. 

The hand-bolted-to-gun humor never got old, alongside the other moments of stupid buffoonery. All of the action is so obviously ridiculous it never bothered me, as the plot didn’t take itself seriously either. Miles should’ve died like 20 times. But the bullets always fly every inch around him and never hit. The beats and “twists” are foreseeable from a mile away. But they happened anyway. I’m not here to deny the indisputable basic rules this film breaks, but the fact that it knows it’s doing it is why I enjoyed it.

“Put a filter on that, make me look good. It might have been a bit over the top.”

- Dildo painted by a worn out Sharpie. 

Guns Akimbo is the ultimate kryptonite for the cinephile, with a blood bath aesthetic ready to harness its overblown action and high-octane pace to the fullest. It’s that ridiculous humor to top everything off for what I would say was a great time. Dumb. Thin. And emotionally nonexistent. But I got to watch Daniel Radcliffe try to take a piss without shooting his dick off - alongside the dumb homeless guy, Paul Bettany if he was casted in Green Room, and a bunch of random people watching this unfold with me. Maybe a little unoriginal and generic, with its constant comparisons to Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Ready Player One but with guns, blood, and more guns, but it’s cartoonish and obnoxious enough to enter exhilarating popcorn flick territory. Guns Akimbo is dumb fun, and an incredibly entertaining film if you let it be. 

For Wes Anderson fans only. 7/10. 

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