Gutshot - On Demand & Download

Monday, 27 October 2014 00:00 Written by 

Gutshot - on demand and digital download“Gutshot”, also known as “Gustshot Straight” to avoid confusion with another 2014 film of the same name, is a slow-burning film noire about Jack, a deadbeat gambler who owes some bad people a lot of money and has to resort to desperate measures to protect his family. Set in Las Vegas, the movie stars George Eads (Nick Stokes in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation). Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch in "Avatar") plays Duffy, a sleazy high roller who gives Jack an eye-opening proposal that could help him buy his way out of trouble, but Jack smells a rat.

Our anti-hero has to make some tough decisions with an unpleasant debt collector (ex-footballer Vinnie Jones) breathing down his neck, and he finds himself drawn inexorably towards May, Duffy's glamorous wife (AnnaLynne McCord – ranch hand Heather in the 2014 episodes of Dallas, Naomi Clark in 90210), a sultry siren whose apparent interest in Jack is rather suspect. Action hero Steven Seagal ("Under Siege") also guest stars as mob boss Paulie Trunks. Justin Steele, previously only a director on shorts, directs a full movie for the first time.

Alternative title "Gutshot Straight" is named after the Poker hand, and the film is attractively shot, taking full advantage of the Vegas surreal neon landscape, and moody lighting supports the noire tone perfectly. The soundtrack reminded me of Michael Mann's "Heat" in its dreamy quality, which is quite fitting given the fact that Jack is beaten unconscious on several occasions, and drinks quite a bit.

Eads is fairly good as the lead, scummy and yet just likeable enough to have the audience get behind him, at least in comparison with the other unsavoury characters. Jack means well but he cannot help getting into hot water and in this city temptation lurks around every corner. Fake boobs and fake smiles tell you everything you need to know.

Whilst the film is atmospheric, the pacing is off and too many plot twists are telegraphed well in advance. Like the central character, the story stumbles around in a daze, lacking momentum and a sense of purpose. It is a shame because at its core it gets a lot right.

If you want to see a great film about crime in Las Vegas, hunt down Scorsese's "Casino". If you have seen that and want more of the same, you could do worse than check out "Gutshot".

“Gutshot” (2014) is available now on demand and digital download from iTunes, Amazon Prime, FilmFlex, BlinkBox, Film4 OD, EE Film, Virgin Movies and Sky Movies, courtesy of Solo Media. The main feature has a running time of 88 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £7.99 in SD and £9.99 in HD (rental also available).


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