1994, R, 90 min. Directed by Deran Sarafian. Starring Christopher Lambert, Mario Van Peebles, Denis Leary, Patrick Stewart, Kadeem Hardison, Sally Kirkland.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Feb. 11, 1994
At its best, Gunmen is a pale imitation of other, better films. At its worst, it's instantly forgettable. Or have I gotten those two reversed? It starts out with a bit about a buzzing fly and a smoking gun that's lifted straight from the opening of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. And it continues that way, borrowing riffs from numerous well-known action films. Thus, most of the stunts and set-ups seem familiar. On the other hand, when Gunmen charts its own course, it approaches incoherence. The plot, as close as I can figure, has something to do with drug money and South America and pairs Lambert and Van Peebles as mismatched buddies (each has a partial clue regarding the location of the treasure). Leary plays a homicidal killer, Stewart plays Mr. Big, Hardison plays Dwayne Wayne as a pilot, Kirkland plays only in one sequence but it's sufficient to set her career back several years. Along the way, we are treated to the sight of someone being buried alive (this occurs twice), Kirkland adorned by nothing but a bubble bath and shotgun, and enough of Van Peebles's midriff to last a lifetime. The sequel's bound to be something like Three Gunmen and a Baby.