08th Nov2014

‘Gutshot’ VOD Review

by Nicky Johnson

Stars: George Eads, AnnaLynne McCord, Stephen Lang, Ted Levine, Steven Seagal, Vinnie Jones, Tia Carrere, Fiona Dourif | Written by Jerry Rapp | Directed by Justin Steele

Gutshot-cast

Gutshot Straight (released in the UK under the shortened moniker of Gutshot) follows card shark Jack (George Eads), who while ignoring his kid and wife  and playing cards at the casino meets Duffy (Stephen Lang), a well-dressed rich older man who gives Jack his business card and a promise for a chance to earn big money. Already owing $10,000 to loan shark Paulie Trunks (Steven Seagal, with a really bad dye job) and struggling to get anything from his gambling, he takes him up on the offer to find that the offer is a string of weird bets, culminating in a big money bet; $40k to have sex with his wife, May (AnnaLynne McCord), while he watches. Jack’s end of the bet? His life.

If I’ve in any way made that seem interesting, then I’m really sorry. Maybe it’ll help to say that my go to phrase during this film is ‘what the hell is going on?’, or to say that my confusion is both with how the managed to make this last as long as they did as well with the writing and directing style being how it is. Either way, let me assure you early that this film is not one I would ever recommend.

Jack as a main character is just confusing. For starters he seems to actually have real talent at the poker table. Why not just go hard core on the table, pay the debt, everybody happy, right? End of film? Nope, we have to go through a series of bad decisions that see him skip out on taking his daughter out, go through the stuff with Duffy and the aftermath, go crawling to Seagal and Vinnie Jones for help, and has what is the most half-hearted attempt at a redeeming ending I have ever seen. He flip flops between talented cocky asshole to someone who seems like a decent guy going through tough times, and neither is particular interesting.

There’s also tonnes of gratuitous stripper scenes that serve only to emphasis Duffy’s richness and asshole record, really short fight scenes, and again a really crappy ending. Ted Levine’s appearance as Duffy’s brother Lewis later in the film was one of the better parts, but it’s not hard to shine when you’re surrounded by dirt. This does lead me to one of the most frustrating aspects of this film; there is some really interesting stuff here that if done differently (read: better), could actually make a really good film.

Instead, they put a section of the last 15 minutes before the title scene, had the title scene look like a B-version of a James Bond title scene with a repetitive bass line that annoyingly get repeated through the film, surrounded Vinnie Jones and Steven Seagal’s characters by MMA fighters for no explained reason, and again, gave it a really crappy ending. I was thinking about giving this film a 2 for its redeeming features but honestly, I can’t bring myself to do it.

* 1/5

Gutshot is available On Demand and Digitally now, courtesy of Solo Media Films

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