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A gangster boss (Ice-T) has a list of about 100 people who have screwed up at one point or another. Rather than outright killing them, he decides to have a little fun by putting all of them together in a high security prison, unarmed, and dumping bucketfulls of guns, ammo, and baseball bats on them and letting them kill each other. The final three who survive are given a prize of 10 million dollars. Let chaos reign. Written by
Mean Guns is hilarious. It's a cleverly filmed shoot-em-up with a thin, but unexpectedly interesting plot, some talented actors hamming it up with reckless abandon (Lambert, Halsey, Ice-T, Van Valkenburgh and Cote) and a great sense of humor.
The premise seems simple enough. A politically connected crime syndicate, with the cryptic name "The Syndicate" has just built a brand new high-security prison and they are staging a grand-opening with their most cold-blooded killers all in attendance. But in reality, all of the invitees have in some way betrayed the syndicate and they are being locked in with snipers on the roof for a shoot-out. The three who survive can walk away with ten million dollars.
In one way or another, each of the assassins participating in this deadly game is psychotic, but Michael Halsey and Chris Lambert really take their roles for a ride. Lambert is perfectly cast as the only voluntary participant, and Halsey does a nice job as a cool, rational killer with a troubled conscience.
Some of the acting is, to be sure, pretty atrocious (Kimberly Warren is terribly miscast, but nevertheless amusing), but the directing (by the unfairly derided Albert Pyun) is truly great. Mean Guns parodies Pulp Fiction, itself, and even its entire genre constantly - from one ridiculous scene of near-slapstick violence to another.
The cinematography is perfect for the genre, and the incongruously happy mambo soundtrack constantly reinforces the film's comedic aspects.
Highly recommended for fans of "guy flicks"
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