I’ve ummed and ahhed about whether to post a review of Guns Akimbo. In case you haven’t heard, the film’s director recently went on a malicious tear of Twitter harassment. Giving his film more oxygen in that context is potentially irresponsible.
That said, I saw the film before this controversy arose, and the film’s failings are illuminated by Howden’s subsequent actions. Guns Akimbo is blessed with a few attributes – a wonderfully silly concept (a man awakens with guns literally bolted to his hands in a kind of Running-Man-meets-Nerve deathmatch scenario) and committed performances by Samara Weaving and Rhys Darby alike – but undermined by its messy, misguided politics.
We’re clearly supposed to dislike protagonist Miles (Daniel Radcliffe), at least initially given how he spends his nights online as a kind of ‘social justice warrior’ (language I can imagine Howden using, anyway). The film asserts that Miles’ online actions are purposeless and would be better realised as real violence, which is an altogether weird moral to have, especially in light of Howden’s actions. Those actions are further clarified by the film’s edgelord tendencies to sneer at Miles’ half-hearted attempts to current Weaving’s character’s use of a slur. Avoid this, for many reasons.