THROWBACK THURSDAY: WAY OF THE GUN
WITH NICK CLEMENT
With MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE – ROGUE NATION opening this week, now is as good a time as any to consider the work of writer /director, CHRISTOPHER MCQUARRIE. Also, BENICIO DEL TORO (lovely man; met him in Cannes) is in the news a lot as he’s on the verge of taking a role in STAR WARS: EPISODE 8.
Both men helped create the 2000 movie, WAY OF THE GUN. And so, our movie archaeologist, NICK CLEMENT, has gone back and considered the movie’s merits.
MOVIE VIRAL PRESENTS: THROWBACK THURSDAY: WAY OF THE GUN!
Take it away, Mr. Clement!
I’ve always enjoyed the bullet festival other wise known as The Way of the Gun. This was Christopher McQuarrie’s interesting, odd follow up to The Usual Suspects, and also served as his stylish directorial debut. It was a critically mixed commercial flop that sent McQuarrie into the helming wilderness for a bit.
This is a nasty, bloody, totally mean actioner with an awesome cast (Ryan Phillippe, Benicio del Toro, Juliette Lewis, Taye Diggs, Nicky Katt, and James Caan) and over the years I’d have to assume that it’s taken on minor cult status with fans of this sort of genre fare.
The ending is a wonderful homage to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (check out the last names of the two lead characters!), and Caan was extra evil in a nonchalant and very quietly psychotic fashion. Dick Pope’s gritty yet elegant cinematography emphasizes that old school feel of a Peckinpah movie.
There’s a confidence to the way McQuarrie pulled all the elements of this crime story together, and while the plot resembles stuff you’ve sort of seen before (kidnapping, double-cross, shoot-outs, ransom, bag-men, crime boss, etc), a sense of energy and conviction is felt in every scene, resulting in a work that possesses an interesting, defiant attitude towards what might be expected from the Hollywood norm. It’s a really sweet look at morally flawed people and a reminder of how we rarely get modern films that center on anti-heroes.
After spending close to a decade working in Hollywood, Nick Clement has taken his passion for film and transitioned into a blogger and amateur reviewer, tackling old, new, and far flung titles without a care for his cerebral cortex. His latest venture, Podcasting Them Softly, finds him tackling new ground as an entertainment guru, and along with his spirited partner Frank Mengarelli, are attracting some diverse and exciting talent to their site. Some of Nick‘s favorite filmmakers include Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, Tony Scott, Oliver Stone, David Fincher, Werner Herzog, Terrence Malick, and Billy Wilder, and he’s a huge proponent of the “31 Flavors of Cinema” school of thought. Favorite films include The Tree of Life, Goodfellas, Heat, Back to the Future, Fitzcarraldo, Zoolander, Babe, and Enter the Void.