We’re finally here; this is where the rubber meets the road. I couldn’t start “The Many Sins” blogs with Mean Guns as my We Talk Comics co-host Mo suggested (this is a favorite of both mine and his). Why, you may ask? The answer is simple, this is a movie that contains so much awesome that any other movie pales in comparison and I wanted to share the love of Mr. Pyun’s films as a whole before I delve into the sheer beauty that is Mean Guns. Recent events (see Volume 3) have made it appropriate to blog about this film.
Consider that I have used the words “awesome” and “beauty” to describe this movie, which may lead you to believe that this is a “good” film, and decide to watch it with a significant other, or someone who lacks your particular tastes, this is incorrect as the enjoyment of this movie requires a different understanding of what a person can get from a film like this one. My rule with this film is don’t think, because if you do the whole thing quickly unwinds, no amount of logical thought can comprehend the greatness that is Mean Guns.
The plot is simplicity itself. A bunch of cool bad guys, an empty prison, 10 million dollars and then they dump a bucketful of guns and baseball bats in middle and yell go. I wish more movies would follow this strategy rather than having a plot equally as dumb but disguised with over complicated explanations and special effects. It’s just survival of the coolest and we got cool in spades. First up we have Ice-T as ex-enforcer turned mob boss chewing up the scenery. Pure joy. Then we have Christopher Lambert playing a burnt out hit man with a death wish, strangely he choose to play the role with equal parts Highlander and John Woo film. Of course we have to mention Michael Halsey who pays the war weary career criminal Marcus, the only character aware the events unfolding are the gates of hell and who welcomes any sort of redemption. There are many other cool roles in the film. I’m sitting here smiling just thinking of the ones I should mention but really you get the idea, everyone is cool..
Now, it wouldn’t be a “Many Sins” column without some sins meaning strange choices that probably wouldn’t exist outside an Albert Pyun film but in this case they serve to strengthen the film rather than detract from it. Firstly the film score is almost entirely made up of mambo music. You heard me right, MAMBO! Mind you the music lends itself to the other-worldliness of the film and is almost a character into itself but I can’t think of another film ever to have more than a brief moment of mambo – strange choice. Another such choice is Christopher Lambert’s an actor a B-movie usually hangs its hat on but here the film goes out of its way to make the character unlikable. Implying that a character your audience spend a good deal of time with is a pedophile is a brave and unusual choice (the extremely young child in question even wears “Lolita” sunglasses).
The only so-called sin for me that doesn’t strengthen the film is the questionably geography. Characters repeatedly walk down the same hallways without running in to each other and scenes take place in strange settings for a prison (one in a room filled with dry cleaning equipment). I’m sure it’s actually some sort of industrial building(s) so I never bought this place as a “prison”, and in only one scene are cells visible. But really the flaws are few and don’t hurt the film. If you are part of the intended audience of this film you are in for a treat (if not you shouldn’t even be reading this blog, just go away) and remember thinking will wreck this movie, so
just get ready for some trench coat wearing, pistol shooting glory. Trust Mr. Pyun and let him drive the bus, it’s one hell of a ride! Next up Mr. Pyun’s answer to Gymkata- Spitfire
Update- In-between writing and the posting this volume Mr. Pyun himself has contacted us and confirmed that the troll that is the subject of volume 3 is, in fact, a troll. He has generously offered me a chance to see Mean Guns in the intended aspect ratio. I suspect many of my “geography” issues will be dis-proven so expect a return to this mambo drenched world. I can’t wait.