Guns is a mini-series. It weaves several different storylines with several different characters. The focus here is how guns destroy lives, and we are witness to various moments of gun-running, smuggling, shooting, killing, and stealing, too. Everyone is on the case here: from determined cops and desperate reporters to members of the higher echelon and poor ghetto folk alike. You see, ladies and gents, illegal guns are very bad. But, after about ten minutes of this epic three-hour masterpiece, you’ll be ready to buy an illegal gun just so you can shoot the DVD, the DVD player you just played it in, the TV the DVD player was hooked up to, and the filmmakers responsible for this grueling Canadian Traffic rip-off (only with Guns !).
Honestly, there’s nothing going for Guns to make it worth your while. I kept getting the impression I was watching a social commentary that occasionally forgot what it was commentating on. Take for example the character of a recently-paroled black man from the ghetto. The first thing he does, upon being set free from the penitentiary is eat fried chicken and talk about getting laid. I can understand the getting laid part, but eating fried chicken? Seriously, people! Why didn’t you just have him sipping on a Big Gulp of grape soda followed by him spitting watermelon seeds out of his mouth shortly thereafter as well? Hell, there’s even rap music playing on the soundtrack whenever he struts into a scene.
OK, so exactly how does this comment on gun-trafficking? What, we’re blaming the fried chicken establishments now? Or are the “colored” people the problem? No, that would only be racist, wouldn‘t it? So, I suppose it’s a good thing that there’s a good black cop in Guns as well — you know, to balance it all out. Incidentally, the character to which I refer leaves his confidential police paperwork around for his black reporter girlfriend to find and leak to the press and he has no idea why or how these things happen.
Must be the work of guns. Or BET. Damn it all, where’s Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder when you need him?
As I am not overly familiar with the vast majority of Canadian television actors, I really didn’t notice any overly familiar faces. Except Colm Feore, that is. I rather like Colnm, actually — but he gets some real shit thrown at him in terms of projects. Still, he emerges as one of the only halfway-decent actors here (as the big bad gun-runnin’ villain). No, wait, that’s a lie. Truth be told: the other actors in Guns do a pretty good job — it’s just the material they’re working with is tripe, that‘s all. However, I will have to refrain from including top-billed Elisha Cuthbert from that list. She’s absolutely horrible. I guess it’s a good thing that she appears less than any of the other actors. Hmm, must be the work of them guns again.
OK, so back to Guns: it’s bad. Not bad bad — just bad as in will-appeal-to-the-average-television-viewer-who-likes-JAG-bad. There. I said it.
Phase 4 Films and Peace Arch Entertainment are responsible for bringing this mess into the States, presenting the two-parter on DVD as a glorious whole (and long) feature in anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen. The video quality is quite good here, and the English soundtracks (5.1 and 2.0) come through without a hitch (optional Spanish subtitles are included). A few trailers for other Peach Arch titles play at the beginning of the disc. No other special features are to be found on Guns, because it just wasn’t worth it.
The bottom line here: Guns is half-cocked and full of blanks.