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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Review: Guns Akimbo

Director: Jason Lei Howden
Screenplay: Jason Lei Howden
Year: 2020

A batshit crazy movie with Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving as protagonists. This information is enough to get any horror fan excited about this movie and, as expected, there has been plenty of hype and expectations around it. If you've been living under a rock and don't recognize these names, Daniel Radcliffe, after his success in the "Harry Potter" saga, has gravitated towards horror cinema starring in movies such as “Horns” and “The Woman in Black” and Samara Weaving has turn into a horror staple after her role in “Ready or Not", but who has also starred in other genre movies such as “The Babysitter” and “Mayhem”. The best part is that “Guns Akimbo” surpasses all expectations.

Miles is a video game coder and a part-time troll. One night while he was around the internet leaving his opinion about several topics he finds the Skizm webpage, where videos of people battling to death are streamed and he uses his talent behind the keyboard to let them know what he thinks about it. The owners of Skizm find Miles and bolt guns into his hands and force him to compete in the mortal game.

The opening scene in “Guns Akimbo” shoots the adrenaline through the roof only a few seconds after it starts and keeps it that way through the whole runtime. In this scene, we see Nix (Samara Weaving) in one of the fights of the game and how efficient and deadly she can be in this sort of scenario. At the same time, it is shown how thousands of persons are watching the fight and puts in context all that's going on around Skizm without forgetting the extreme violence and exciting visuals.

The execution of the story in “Guns Akimbo” is enough to make it an excellent movie, but the audiovisual work takes it to a whole other level. The director and screenwriter Jason Lei Howden, known for the well-received horror-comedy "Deathgasm", uses saturated colors that give it a look reminiscent of video games or comics, reinforced by the visual effects that remind those seen in "Scott Pilgrim vs The World”. The camera work is spectacular and camera tricks are offered along with impossible shots, turns, and angles that give it a great aesthetic value and a unique identity accompanied by a soundtrack that couldn't have been better selected.

As if this wasn’t enough, the cast, led by Radcliffe and Weaving, make an impressive job by bringing that combination of extreme violence and dark humor that makes it so fun. Radcliffe since the first moment makes the viewer identify with him and makes it care for what happens to him, but is Weaving who shines in her role of the badass coke addict and who keeps showing her talent by getting such different roles in every movie. Compliments also to Howden for how well he crafted the script and how he balances the humor for it to be funny without compromising the violent atmosphere and constant danger around Miles. 

“Guns Akimbo” immerses the viewer into its fast-paced and fun story from the get-go and takes it into a crazy ride until the and leaves it wanting more. The humor and extreme violence are combined with the excellent job of Daniel Radcliffe y Samara Weaving, the great quality of the visuals and the awesome soundtrack to elevate the violent story into the must-watch movie list of the year.

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