Published On: Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015

Watch Trailer: Sean Penn’s ‘The Gunman’ Misfires at the Box Office

“Sometimes a movie is so manifestly ill-conceived that the best one can do is throw up one’s hands in surrender and acknowledge the truth: It is impossible to indict this film as thoroughly as it indicts itself.”


Sean Penn may be a two time Oscar winner, but his latest movie was a misfire at the box office over the weekend. “The Gunman” only took in $5 million.

One wonders what Penn was thinking when he decided to take a turn as a Charles Bronson type tough guy in a movie. Most recently former Oscar nominee Liam Neeson seems to have cornered the market on that sort of movie. In fact, the film is directed by the man who helmed “Taken” Pierre Morel.

In “The Gunman” Penn plays mercenary sniper Terrier who returns to the Congo years after performing a successful assassination.

The critics have not been kind. Movie review site Rotten Tomatoes has given it a measly 14% rating. But don’t feel too sorry for Penn. He is, after all, currently dating one of Hollywood’s hottest women, fellow Oscar winner Charlize Theron.

The Atlantic said of it, “Sometimes a movie is so manifestly ill-conceived that the best one can do is throw up one’s hands in surrender and acknowledge the truth: It is impossible to indict this film as thoroughly as it indicts itself.”

And, “And so, with another awful cinematic experience—Sean Penn’s new vanity project, The Gunman—comes another prophylactic spoilereview. In brief, the movie is a dull, generic retread of nearly every action movie you’ve ever seen, with the reluctant super-soldier haunted by his past and enmeshed in a conspiracy, etc., etc. But it’s made far worse by Penn’s self-seriousness as an actor, by the banal and insulting political pieties that he’s grafted on as producer and co-writer, and by the presence of perhaps the most pitifully retrograde female lead role to appear onscreen in the past two decades.”

The Guardian said, “Fifteen minutes of quasi-earnest guff (replete with respected newsreader cameos) about corporate plunder, genocide, and bloody civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo justifies another 100 minutes of ammo-porn explosive action as Sean Penn “pulls a Neeson” under the guiding eye of Taken director Pierre Morel.”

The movie co-stars Javier Bardem and Idris Elba.

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