TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Guns Akimbo’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF 2019 by - September 14, 2019
TIFF 2019: Our Review of ‘Guns Akimbo’

In Guns Akimbo, director Jason Lei Howden (2015’s splatterific Deathgasm) takes a familiar premise- with one hell of a unique twist- and proceeds to take the audience on a thrill ride of blood, guts, and mayhem through the world of an underground game of life or death.

When Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) is at home by himself, he starts trolling the message board of Skizm, an online game which sets convicts loose to kill each other while thousands watch. But Miles’ comments garner the ire of Skizm creator Richter (Ned Dennehy) who sets out to make Miles an example. After being abducted Miles wakens to discover that his hands have been bolted to 2 guns and Nix (Samara Weaving), one of the game’s fiercest competitors, has been set upon him in a game of kill or be killed.

Richter and his minions Miles with weapons drilled into flesh, hampering and affecting every ability to escape, or even pee. This an effective plot device that leads successfully to many of the film’s strongest laughs. Sadly the third act of the film devolves into a fairly standard shoot ’em up scenario that loses some of the character points that make the first hour so special.

The strong parts of the film make us wonder if the watered-down final act may have been the result of studio/producer intervention as at times it feels like a different voice behind the camera. But the rest of the film remains so strong that it absolutely merits watching.

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