There are people in this world who exist under the radar. Some who exist in the ether. You never meet them but they are here. They are among us. These people are known as Steven Segal fans. We all know ‘Under Siege’ is an action masterpiece. These are the folk though who continue to buy every new straight-to-DVD release that pops out every month or so. The stock poses of Segal looking slightly confused as to what he’s doing there whilst pointing a gun is an institution of most shops DVD charts. They are ever present yet I know few people who own these films nor do I ever here people rage about how ‘Into the Sun’ is their all-time fave. They must be out there though. Which is why in the case of ‘Gutshot’ Segal, along with other straight-to-DVD hard nut Vinnie Jones adorn the cover with their names high above the title.
Let’s clear this up at the start though. Both men’s screen-time in this film runs to all off about 7 minutes. Worth mentioning as those previously mentioned Segal fans will probably be left wanting by ‘Gutshot’ and to be honest to sell the film as a new snooze-fest action-er from Segal does it a disservice.
‘Gutshot’ is actually more of a modern day film noir – with traces of ‘The Last Seduction’ and a hint of ‘Indecent Proposal’ thrown in. The star is George Eads playing Jack a gambler who is fresh out of jail and in need of some money to pay off criminal lord Paulie Trunks (Segal). At a casino one night he meets the charismatic Duffy (the always awesome Stephen Lang) who propositions him to sleep with his wife May (AnnaLynne McCord), after things get weird Duffy’s brother Lewis (the equally awesome as Stephen Lang, Ted Levine) gets involved. From there a plot of double crossing and underhandedness from all parties plays out to see who will survive the murderous dealings.
‘Gutshot’ mounts itself as a slick looking crime b-movie, more akin to the Sylvester Stallone starring ‘Shade’ and ‘The Big Bounce’ with Owen Wilson. It even has a James Bond-equse opening credit sequence which whilst looking pretty seems a bit over the top. Eads comes across as a likeable lead, while never fully likeable his character Jack doesn’t have to be. Although when he’s on-screen with Lang and Levine his shortcomings as a dramatic actor become more prevalent. Mean while the two veterans are effortlessly watch-able as always and continue to be two of America’s most underrated actors (if you don’t believe me watch Lang in ‘Avatar’ then watch ‘Tombstone’). Segal and Jones… well they do what they do. Jones says some threatening sounding stuff and punches things. Segal whispers “cool” sounding dialogue and moves as little as possible – for he does tire easily these days. McCord plays the femme fatale role with the pre-requisite mix of vulnerability and iciness which is standard for this kind of film.
So just to clarify this is not a Segal action flick. Although he does get to hold a gun at one point. ‘Gutshot’ whilst certainly not a original film is more than the advertising would lead you to believe. It’s a crime caper with a few gaping plot points – to be honest Segal and Jones’ entire presence in the film feel unnecessary – but it does have some very enjoyable performances from Eads, Lang and Levine (I know you may be thinking “where are there photos in this review instead of Segal and Jones?”, well I couldn’t find any), it looks terrific and has a very catchy title song.
‘Gutshot’ is released on DVD on October 13th.
Check out the trailer below