Sam’s Movie Recommendation of the Week #1

Way of the Gun inspired painting by Sam Kench
Way of the Gun inspired painting by Sam Kench

The Way of the Gun is a criminally underrated action thriller that is one of my all time favorite movies.

I’m not sure what it is that kept this movie from achieving the following that it deserves, but hopefully I can do my part and get a couple new people to check it out.


-Written and Directed by Christopher McQuarrie who wrote “The Usual Suspects”.

-Changing tones: The movie changes tones drastically part way through the film, but it manages to not be jarring. The film opens fast with clever dialogue and a lot of comedy as well as having faster editing. Before long the film abandons this style and slows down. The film gets darker and more intense as well as cutting down on the dialogue.

-Fantastic action scenes: The shootouts in “The Way of the Gun” are absolutely top notch. The final shootout has to be in the top 10 shootouts of all time. It is delectable. There actually aren’t that many action scenes, but when they show up they are intensely memorable. The actors all went through military weapons training and every single bullet in the movie is accounted for. The character reload their weapons constantly, which is actually very uncommon to see in films. This movie also makes excellent use of practical effects such as squibs. Every bullet fired in this movie is sure to tear a hole through something. The action scenes in this movie are unlike any other. They are ridiculously realistic and even idiosyncratic. One of the most memorable scenes is perhaps the most unconventional car chase of all time, and it’s pure awesome.

Benicio Del Toro is the epitome of cool: Benicio Del Toro is a great actor, and in this movie he just exudes cool. His character was written with a lot of dialogue but Del Toro thought it would work better if his character was quieter, and he was right. He doesn’t say a whole lot, and he is able to tell so much with just his face. Plus he always has this awesome crooked lean, real wild west style.

– The movie knows how to start and end: the opening scene just might be one of the coolest, where Sarah Silverman finally gets her comeuppance.

And the ending scene is without a doubt one of the best endings. I won’t show it because I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I just love how it concludes. It has such a strong final image and the fact that the filmmakers were ballsy enough to end without a happy climax is something to admire.

– Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid inspiration: The aforementioned movie is terrific and in “The Way of the Gun” the two main characters are known only by the code names Parker and Longbaugh, which were the real names of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The final shootouts were also filmed in the same location for both movies.

The Way of the Gun is unknown to many, but it’s a great movie. I highly recommend it.


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