When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
Two petty if violent criminals kidnap a girl being paid $1m to be a surrogate mother. As the baby is for a gangster the pair's demand for money sees several henchmen and assorted other ruthless characters head after them to Mexico. Bullets rather than talking are always going to settle this one. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
THE WAY OF THE GUN (2000) ***1/2 Ryan Phillippe, Benicio del Toro, Juliette Lewis, James Caan, Taye Diggs, Nicky Katt, Scott Wilson, Kristin Lehmann, Geoffrey Lewis, Sarah Silverman.
Christopher McQuarrie makes his directing debut in a big way with an obvious nod to Sam Peckinpaugh with his screenplay about two ne'er do well criminals (Phillippe and del Toro, both exemplary) who decide to make a mark for themselves by kidnapping a very pregnant surrogate mother (Lewis) to a wealthy businessman (Wilson) that eventually pans out to be a big mistake in a tangled web involving the woman's bodyguards (Diggs and Katt) and the bagman friend of the rich man (Caan in one fine, low-key performance of nuanced dread). More than enough rich dialogue and pinpoint camera angle set ups to go around with some live wire moments of unexpected turnarounds, double crosses and shoot outs may be the film's only fault in being an excess of too much of a good thing. A roundelette of pulp fiction best served by its exciting cast (as a side note, del Toro reminded me for some reason as a young Robert Mitchum in some scenes; go figure) and a filmmaker to watch.
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