It’s always refreshing when something’s worth the wait. Whether it’s pizza made from scratch, an album from Guns 'n' Roses, or a movie that’s mostly known for the memes it’s spawned, it’s damn nice when that little bit of serotonin hits your system.
Guns Akimbo was pretty fucking great, if you’ll pardon my language. I had high expectations, especially since director Jason Lei Howden delivered the goods with his previous movie, Deathgasm. This movie checked every box. Every. Last. One.
The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe as Miles, a cowardly and asthmatic “keyboard warrior” who hits the message boards a little too hard one night and catches the attention of a live-streaming Running Man-styled dark web show. To teach him a lesson, the leader of the group surgically attached guns to his hands and pits him against Nix (Samara Weaving), the most popular death match contestant and an all-around badass. Unless Miles manages to kill Nix before she hunts him down, the show runners will kill his girlfriend.
I should probably keep telling you about the movie itself, but instead I’m going to fawn over Samara Weaving for just a moment. I’ve been a fan of hers since her name starting popping up everywhere a few years ago ("Ash vs. Evil Dead", The Babysitter, Mayhem), and she’s recently been getting due mainstream attention for Ready or Not. Guns Akimbo gives her one hell of a character to work with, and she steals every scene she’s in. No offense to Mr. Radcliffe, who’s also a phenomenal actor, but I don’t think this movie would’ve worked if he’d been working opposite anyone other than Samara Weaving.
Now that I’m done gushing about Margot Robbie’s doppelganger, here’s everything else about Guns Akimbo that blew me away in a storm of bullets.
The story’s extremely simple but effective. It promises a quirky and ultra-violent dystopian action romp, and that’s exactly what it delivers. It has plenty of surprises along the way, too, but for the most part it’s in the same vein as Hardcore Henry, Planet Terror, and other gleefully splatter-heavy movies made with a niche audience in mind.
The stylish visuals and costume designs are worth a behind-the-scenes featurette of their own. It’s like if Mad Max: Fury Road married the bastard lovechild of The Terminator and A Clockwork Orange, spawning a trigger-happy cinematic baby with a thirst for violence.
Perhaps my favorite part of Guns Akimbo (again, aside from Samara Weaving’s performance) was the very specific type of humor that holds all the shootouts and action movie tropes together. If you’re a little deranged and in need of some laughter that’ll make your neighbors concerned, you’ll appreciate Howden’s second directorial outing.
I give Guns Akimbo 4/5 lines of cocaine.