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Anita is a high-school girl who frequently allows random boys and men to have sex with her, and is frequently raped by her absentee mother's boyfriend. As part of a school assignment Anita takes up correspondence with a lonely young prison inmate, whose letters stir up dormant desires for violence and guns. After buying herself a firearm, Anita convinces her mother's boyfriend to teach her how to use it, and, after he rapes her again, shoots him to death and hides the body. She then sets about getting her new "boyfriend" out of jail and to her, where she slowly drags him with her on her downward spiral of sex, violence, and murder for the sake of murder. Written by
The gun Anita gives Howard is an M1911 Colt, or one of a million 1911 "clones" using the same design. She claims that it is a 9mm. While there are 9mm versions of this gun commercially available (the Star Model BM, for example), it is most commonly found in .45 ACP or .38 Super. See more »
I am always excited to see the darkness of cinema's past, but continually happy with its progress and evolution over the years. If the genre displayed in Guncrazy would have remained throughout the cinematic years, I think I would have had to choose a different hobby other than film. Here we have a very gritty, very disturbing film, which just never seems to leave the hangar. I continually felt that Guncrazy was this grounded plane never geared for takeoff, which was disappointing because several times it seemed as if it was ready for lift-off. Director Tamra Davis has her work cut out for her on this picture. It surprised me that the woman who brought us Billy Madison, Half-Baked, and Crossroads would dare dabble in a project like this yet she did, and I don't think that she succeeded. Matthew Bright, the guy who brought us Freeway, has a very crafted story, but I believe that it is Davis' direction, coupled with disappointing acting that ultimately destroys this film.
Think about this for a minute. When you are directing a film of this caliber, you as a director need to realize that it is more than just a story about sexual teens and violence, but instead a haunting image of our world, culture, and society. As I watched this film, I couldn't help but see (and sometimes hear) Bright's angst-ridden voice about our society trying to come through, but it felt that Davis was pushing that aside in hopes to give Drew more screen time. We kept scratching on the surface of guns and violence, but never quite dug deep enough. There was so much that should have happened with this story, that Bright's words were completely ignored and left for Davis to butcher. I believe that if Bright would have manned this project, we may have seen stronger characters, deeper emotions and themes, all the while exposing truths about our society. These were elements that were lacking considerably in this film. While it is said that Davis tried to avoid making a remake of Crazy is the Female, I believe that the older film spoke more about society than this film did. Davis covered up truths and intelligence with overly clichéd shock moments coupled with silly, incoherent violence.
With Davis practically missing the mark behind the camera, this left nothing for the actors. Barrymore decently tries to fill the shoes of this innocent 17-year old that only wanted love and would do anything for it, but the lacking chemistry between her and LeGros overshadows her performance. I felt as if Davis could only afford a portion of LeGros for this film and most of the time he was replaced with a cardboard cut-out of himself. He gave no emotion to his character. I realize that he was to show how corrupt the world had been to him, but does that mean he cannot smile, frown, show fear, excitement, hatred, distrust, love, or any range of emotions that come with being an actor. LeGros hurt this film. Typically, I like his performances, but I don't think he was ready, nor did it seem that he really wanted this role. This hurt the foundation of the film. Here we have Barrymore giving a decent performance, but LeGros doesn't hold up his end of the bargain, which ultimately hurts any support that we have for our heroines.
While I sternly believe that Davis destroyed the overall tone of the film and LeGros' cardboard image impeded any connection with Barrymore, there were some scenes that I thought Bright exceptionally wrote into this film. My favorite scene in the entire film was when Anita and Howard were together at the house living a life that could never be theirs. It was so interesting to see these two victims of poverty living, breathing, and experiencing a physically imaginative world. Then, a pivotal changing moment in the film occurs and it really places this film into a different perspective. I wasn't expecting this type of change in the film, and it really showcased what Bright was trying to accomplish. Another scene that I enjoyed occurred right before this monumental scene, when Hank is just about to be arrested by his parole officer. He screams down the hall of the hospital, and all Anita responds with is, "What's he yellin' about now?" This shocked me because it completely tore down any barriers that I thought I already knew about Anita and Hank's relationship. Was there a level of comfortability settling in with the relationship? Interesting turn, which captured my attention. Sadly, the remaining scenes were just a flagrant disrespect to Bright's darkening talent.
Overall, I wasn't impressed with this film. I strongly suggest it to those who are big Matthew Bright fans, but we forewarned this is not as exceptional or as shocking as Freeway was. This was a film completely chastised by Tamra Davis and James LeGros. Barrymore decently carries herself, a la Reese Witherspoon in Freeway, but it just doesn't come together smoothly. The overall tone and elements are completely missing as Davis implements increasing scenes of shock value instead of stronger elements of society. It is difficult to watch, not because of what occurs in the film, but because of the lack of direction, acting, and overall momentum. The final result seems more like a cheaply tailored small tuxedo on a very large man. It covers the wrong spots. Skip it. You will live life happier.
Grade: ** out of *****
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