Film Review: Guns Akimbo

Guns Akimbo has fascinating visuals and dreamy sequences but what’s fun is watching Daniel Radcliffe navigate it all with his hands tied.

It all started with the poster and promotional images – Daniel Radcliffe, clad in just his underwears, with guns tied to his hands; he looks likes shit, and he’s surrendering – surrendering to several scenarios playing in our head: Oh, he’s in deep trouble. The cops are gonna shoot first and ask questions later. The more scenarios that play in your head, the more the idea of a nerd being forced to carry guns tied to his hands around becomes gratifying to you. You are just left with one question: Do I wanna watch this?

Well, I watched Guns Akimbo and right now, all I wanna do is throw loads of cuss words all over the place because it was, as expected, an unreal, gut-ripping, gritty and visually bloody experience.

*skip one (the next) paragraph if you want to approach this film undiluted without knowing any plot details*

So here, there’s a platform called Skizm which pits worst criminals against each other to kill themselves while millions of people watch at home as entertainment. Miles (Radcliffe), is a miserable ex-boyfriend, who loves to troll trolls. His trolling skills, frail if put under a microscope, are sooo good he got in trouble with the admins of Skizm. He pissed them off so much they searched for this little man, found him, and wait for it, (and I definitely didn’t see this coming because I wasn’t looking closer), NAILED, sorry, BOLTED guns into his hands.  They then pit him against Nix, the game’s deadliest killer, as Skizm’s next tournament.

Like Jexi, this opens in a world where people don’t look up from their phones but unlike that world, there’s no time for a love story. People are dying. Head shots. Dick shots. Extreme close-ups. Dreamy fight scenes. Comic book sequences. POV twisting and turning until you max out your neck’s degrees. It’s straight out of a video game. Like I said, it’s unreal.

For brief moments, the tone segues but blood is not too far away. It tries to sink its teeth into various genres and it succeeds in biting off several good chunks: the punky-ness and raw energy of Dredd, the song coordinated showdowns of GOTG and the boyish adventurism of Kickass.

Skizm owns the cops, owns the minds of millennials, owns all the cameras in the damn city so we get to see everything – except from the game watchers moving on with their lives because basically, the film’s timeline, though originally runs in just 24 hours, progresses while the lives of Skizm viewers worldwide is just planted to a spot. Meaning, come rain, come shine, come night, come day, you are seating at the edge of your bed watching Skizm and your boyfriend, who’s frozen mid-walk to the bathroom is also peeping the Skizm action from your device. If this was a dystopian movie or an alternate reality kind of thing, we’d question how the world is even habitable since a section of the population ain’t leaving their couch because a Skizm match is on, and a Skizm match is always on.

What you need to know is, the story surprises you, most of the time. The action throws you off your critic horse because its more than just Bang! Bang! Nix would whoop John Wick’s ass… in a video game.

And Daniel Radcliffe, no less talented. Dude got shot far too many times but keeps getting back up. That undying spirit, that translates to everything from the pace to the engagement, is what makes Guns Akimbo fun, but please is that blood or Vanilla Ice Cream?

Guns Akimbo figured out a way to hack “punk” and “gothic” into thrilling action and, I promise you, this story ends with you smiling. That’s good, right?

6/10 Folks.

P.S. I don’t know about you but I’m legit scared of Whatsapp group admins now. I love my hands. Both of them.

Okiki Adeduyite

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