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Shooters (2002)

Gilly, fresh out of prison, and J, a hustler with a major drug problem, just can't shake their criminal ways.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Max Bell
...
J
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Gilly
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Jackie Junior
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Charlie Franklin
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Eddie
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Freddy Guns
Jamie Sweeney ...
Skip
...
Marie
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Detective Inspector Sarah Pryce
...
Sergeant Webb
Joe Swash ...
Boy #1 (as Joseph Swash)
Ranjit Krishnamma ...
Pac
...
Ajay
...
Jason
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Storyline

Gilly, fresh out of prison, and J, a hustler with a major drug problem, just can't shake their criminal ways.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the tradition of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

25 January 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Atiradores  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Gilly: [Narrating] When you're inside, it's not just the obvious things you miss. You can even end up being nostalgic for a set of fucking traffic lights.
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Connections

References Blood Simple. (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All of the shooting that it does is strictly downward and into its own feet.
1 March 2011 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Shooters was made at around about a time people desperately needed to cease with whatever post-"Lock, Stock" gangster surge there was which had embedded itself within the British crime genre. Where Ritchie's quite wonderful 1998 crime-comedy was, in hindsight, driven by a quite wondrous screenplay full of cracking dialogue and effectively balanced the plights of several groups of low-level gangsters quite effortlessly and rather maturely; 2002 effort Shooters is a deathfully droll; haplessly dull; dreary; badly plotted; poorly made film with nothing to say about ugly characters we do not care for. The film is an overly ambitious effort, an overly stylised piece which makes use of its lens filters and slow motion more than it does its observations on anything remotely interesting; a confused and misjudged film unsure as to which direction to head and uncertain as to which light in which to present its criminals.

The film follows the pratfalls of a certain Gilly (Dempsey), an Irishman based in London who has just been released from a six year stretch in prison over which time he has been reformed; a walk down a corridor to some rap music in slow motion his final steps as a man on the inside having the film seem glad he's out so that now all the nonsense may commence. His release signals a criminal buddy of his from years back, in Jay (Howard), to meet and greet him before gradually threaten to rope our Gilly back into the life of low-level underworld crime. The film likes Jay more than Gilly, enjoys what it is Jay does and the life he leads; even beginning with Jay in the form of a trunk-shot, which instantly calls to mind the works of Tarantino from which you do not need much in the way of clues so as to realise where this the film is grossly inspired from; he's a fast-talking arms-dealer clad in an anorak which comes with a black hood having him look like the figure of death as he dishes out implements made to hasten the purpose of such. But it is Gilly whom guides us through the film, his voice-overs sombre and regretful as he desperately attempts to keep away from falling back into his old habits; unashamed to inform us precisely how he feels on the evils and sinful natures of criminal life, a message of which is delivered to us by way of such sombre and downcast tones by the film when it isn't highly stylising a shootout in a neon lit message parlour or trying to engross us in a sequence in which characters are either hoovering up heavy drugs or needlessly engrossed in a lap-dance.

For all the sombre talk of gangster-dom, and besides how its interests appear to lie elsewhere, Shooters is disturbingly more interested in the character of Jay; his life, lifestyle and the struggles he has with his wife named Marie (Lynskey). Marie wants out of the relationship with their baby son and we persistently root for her to do so; but where Jay ought to be playing the unhinged and sociopathic support to lead Gilly alá something like Pesci was to Liotta in 1990's Goodfellas, he is the lead; the predominant figure driving the film and persistently the perpetrator of the crass and uninteresting sequences which do not advance story nor explore ideas but maintain Jay with which we're provided. The film appears to, ultimately, want to be about how the criminal life those lead within tears apart friendships; marriage; relationships and general well-being, it is a shame the film gets to that point in the slowest of fashions; a monotonous trudge through territory the film actually rather enjoys for the most part despite the prominent lingerings of pseudo-regretful tones and hushed advice. The film is rife with violence, casual drug use and swearing; none of it amounting to a single thing as crude one-liners and torture sequence are lumped on to seemingly compliment what the film thinks it has going on in the form of whispered observational voice-overs speaking of how terrible and how depraved this whole world is.

As a marker, Shooters often resembles the 2006 French film Paris Lockdown; a disgracefully adolescent display of gangsterism which more often than not resembled something a room full of fifteen year old boys, of which narrative telling eludes, cobbled together in which every single scene needs to be peppered with either a topless woman; a gun of some description going off, usually shooting somebody, or a character undertaking the odd intake of cocaine. While it probably isn't as bad as said example, Shooters commits too many cardinal sins within the genre to even remotely take to; muddling its aims, confusing itself to the point that it introduces a main character for the first time thirty minutes to the end, fetishising shoot outs and gangster activity and failing to tell a story of a man trying to reform as those around them do what they do. Shooters sets out its stall rather early on as a piece aiming for large things; Gilly's mentioning of Jay as a man not beset by evil or especially a gangster but just somebody doing what he does because it's what he's able to do inferring a deconstruction or revision of what it is that makes a man a criminal; further talk of how gangster life has evolved over the decades since Thatcher additionally suggests a film looking to explore deeper themes and content. In the end, we're left with badly played material and just an overwhelming feeling of boredom as lots is thrown at the screen but with very little actually happening.


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