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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Prone Gunman

The Gunman (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

The Democratic Republic of Congo is undergoing a humanitarian crisis due to unrest and armed fighting. NGOs are providing relief. Multi-national companies are exploiting Congo's mineral wealth. In a night­club we meet some of the players: Annie (Jasmine Trinca) is a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) volunteer. Felix (Javier Bardem) and Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) are under contract to provide security for MSF (“here to protect us.”) Felix is Annie's friend. Jimmy is her lover. He's ex-special forces. Felix wishes Annie would love some­one soft like him rather than some­one hard like Jim. An announce­ment comes over the TV that Congo is canceling and renegotiating all mining contracts with foreign entities.

Felix, Jimmy, and two others have a secret parallel contract with a mining company conglomerate to do their dirty work. Felix the in-country top dog puts together “Operation Calvary” to assassinate the Minister of Mining as his motor­cade proceeds past a choke point. Three shooters are lined up on him. Only the triggerman picked is the “shooter to the wind” under obligation to “go off-continent.” We see Jimmy prone like a submissive dog, with his gun sights on the car. The top dog fingers Jimmy. Felix agrees to “take care of Annie” once Jim is gone. I bet.

Skip ahead eight years. Jimmy has turned over a new leaf, no more killing—I bet—and is now back in the Congo drilling water wells for a humanitarian relief organization. When he is person­ally targeted for a hit (“Where is the White man?”) by some contract killers, he must determine who wants him dead and why, or else they'll just keep coming. He travels from the Congo to London, Gibraltar and Barcelona to learn who's “cleaning house,” to find out what happened to Annie, and to receive the left-handed compliment: “For some­one who doesn't want to do this shit any­more, your kill ratio is pretty high.”


The Wisdom books of the Apocrypha are accepted by the Protestants for edification purposes though they be not included in the canon. Among them is Eccles­ias­ticus, also known as The Wisdom of the Son of Sirach. Its wisdom is displayed in movies such as “Jules and Jim” and some others I've reviewed. Portions seem applicable to “The Gunman” as follows: (Sirach 9:13) Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill; so shalt thou not doubt the fear of death: and if thou come unto him, make no fault, lest he take away thy life presently: remember that thou goest in the midst of snares, and that thou walkest upon the battle­ments of the city. Jimmy has got to watch his step and try to make peace with the powerful.

(Sirach 9:14) As near as thou canst, guess at thy neighbour, and consult with the wise. Jimmy has to make some shrewd guesses as to who would want him gone, and he needs to enlist some help from his long­time friend Stanley (Ray Winstone.)

(Sirach 10:9) Why is earth and ashes proud? There is not a more wicked thing than a covetous man: for such an one setteth his own soul to sale; because while he liveth he casteth away his bowels. What was Felix doing playing God? He wickedly coveted Jimmy's girl­friend, and sold his soul to get her, and his manhood.

(Sirach 10:10) The physician cutteth off a long disease; and he that is to day a king to morrow shall die. Annie the surgeon knew the necessity of amputation, and Jimmy for his part ended up on some­one's chopping block as “the last real threat on the table.”

(Sirach 17:1-7)

The Lord created man of the earth, and turned him into it again. He gave them few days, and a short time, and power also over the things therein. He endued them with strength by them­selves, and made them according to his image, And put the fear of man upon all flesh, and gave him dominion over beasts and fowls. Counsel, and a tongue, and eyes, ears, and a heart, gave he them to under­stand. Withal he filled them with the know­ledge of under­standing, and shewed them good and evil.

God made man to have dominion in His creation. We see in the bullfight the matador's dominion over a power­ful bull. Jimmy is given the where­withal to find a way out of the mess he's in though it looks hope­less, and he not in the best of health.

Production Values

The Gunman” (2015) was directed by Pierre Morel who had a hit directing the first “Taken” movie. “The Gunman” was written by Don MacPherson, its screen­play by Pete Travis. The story is based on Jean-Patrick Manchette's novel, The Prone Gunman. It stars Sean Penn who carried a rather uni­dim­ensional movie. Jasmine Trinca played French babe Annie to a tee. The rest of the cast did well with their limited camera time.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence, language and some sexuality. The film's score was composed by Marco Beltrami. It was decent. A steady camera helped capture the fight scenes realistic­ally. The battle­field settings were gorgeous and scary at the same time. Sound effects abounded. Sean Penn's toned body was displayed from various angles. The bull­fight was a killer, although there hasn't been one in Barcelona since 2011 when they were banned.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“The Gunman” is a violent action film with hair-raising sequences. There is some political subtext to move the plot along, but it's kind of nebulous. If you like tense action, this one fits the bill. Not for the squeamish, but it does what it sets out to do.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Apocryphal scripture taken from The Septuagint with Apoc­rypha: Greek and English. U.S.A.: Hendrick­son Pub. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851. Print, WEB.