Watched “The Way of the Gun” yesterday (after doing some work on Scope and getting beta 3 ready BTW … <g>) and watched the director’s commentary today since it was on DVD. The first word that comes to mind is refreshing … Director/writer Christoper McQuarrie is probably pretty familiar to the die hard movie fans as the guy who wrote “The Usual Suspects” – another excellent and different movie -. I kept on expecting “The Way of the Gun” to have the same kind of plot twists and convoluted ending and while I was not proven right, this is definitely a movie that makes you think! And when I say “makes you think”, I don’t mean about violence and the human condition (though there is a lot to think there too …) I mean that this movie makes you work to understand the story – all the plot elements aren’t spelled out for you as if you were some five year old kid (no disrespect meant to five year old kids – I know some who are smarter than most supposed adults <vbg>). You have to follow the story closely and infer what’s happening based on what’s not said as much as what’s said.
The acting is all around excellent. Benecio Del Toro has lately been touted as one of the top actors in Hollywood in recent years and this I thought was the first time I was seeing him action (I found out later that he’d also appeared in “The Usual Suspects” and “The Fan” and while I saw both, I didn’t remember him by name …) and he really proves that he can act. His character is very believable and sometimes he conveys his emotions just by a look or just by body language … This was my first time seeing Ryan Phillippe in action (and he’s talked about a lot too but not exactly for his acting talents … <g>) and he did a remarkable job as well. In fact, most of the cast were pretty believable in creating very human characters.
I was surprised to learn afterwards that “The Way of the Gun” had actually been panned by critics quite a bit. Now I wonder what that says about today’s movie watching public and critics? Have we become so low-brow that everything has to be spelled out for us? Or have we come to believe so much in our own media that we want characters who are either morally black or white – not shades of grey? I’m not sure what to think … but then again, humanity peplexes me most of the time anyway :p