From the trailer, Guns Akimbo looked pretty fun. An unwitting guy gets thrust into a fight for the death. However, for me, it did not meet expectations.
Miles is a nerd who is deeply unhappy with his job, lives alone spending his nights being a drunk troll and online stalking his ex-girlfriend. One night he decides to troll those on Skizm, a real-life underground death match. This leads to him being thrust into the death match himself, as payback for his self-righteous insults.
I was very aware of the actors acting which shouldn’t be the case. With Daniel Radcliffe, this seemed most prominent. His comedic timing and delivery did nothing to add to the film and in fact, put me off. There was je nais se quois missing from his character, and even so, his character is portrayed as so pathetic that it’s not like you want to root for the character to survive. His weird obsession with his ex that ultimately gets her into deep trouble; his goading on the internet provoking people to retaliate against him – this is a story of a deeply unhappy individual who pretty much brings all the destruction on his own head and gets people caught in the crossfire.
Now I like Samara Weaving, she’s been in a lot of my favourite films in the past few years. But I could not get behind her in Guns Akimbo. Her character’s backstory is trite. Her craziness is over-the-top – it would be comical if it wasn’t so cringe – and why is she so obsessed with shooting men in the crotch? But probably the worst thing is that somehow we see Nix be this badass character at the start, who somehow can’t kill this little nerd who has no skills whatsoever to speak of. I mean talk about pushing the suspension of disbelief hard. Guns Akimbo tests you to ignore any hint of coherence throughout.
I think the main problem in Guns Akimbo is they try to push the satire too far and end up losing the plot of anything that they wanted to say. Which seems to be no more than “online culture is full of horrible people that would enjoy a death match like “Skizm”. That’s not exactly profound or new knowledge. I found the criminals to be terrible caricatures. It’s like if someone had never seen a criminal and assumed that they must all have loads of tattoos because that how you define criminals. Which is outdated as hell.
And the fight scenes were very generic and uninteresting in my opinion. Gunfights can be pretty fun to watch, but Guns Akimbo has none of it. It’s only when they have the hand-to-hand fights at the very end, did any of my interest get piqued. Possibly it was the camera work which tries to be creative but usually just ends up hiding any action.
The humour in Guns Akimbo, reminds me of something a teenager would find funny but later cringe at once they grow up a bit. It tries to use shock effects to get people to laugh. Maybe if you are sexually repressed, jokes about female masturbation and small dicks would tickle your fancy, but it gets a big old yawn from me.
And to say this is anything of a modern The Running Man is an insult. At least in The Running Man, there is some character growth, none of which is found in Guns Akimbo. It felt more like an incel’s wet dream – I just feel tainted by viewing.