Director Pierre Morel launched Liam Neeson into the starry stratosphere in abduction thriller Taken, and that’s a formula he seems intent on continuing. His latest entry into the action canon, The Gunman, sees him switch out Neeson’s grizzled Brian Mills for Sean Penn’s hitman. The names may have changed, but the game remains the same, as judging by this first trailer there’s loads of weapons, explosions and sour-faced do-gooders.
Ahead of the film’s spring release, the debut of its trailer offers a by-the-numbers glimpse at what we can expect on the big screen. Penned by Pete Travis (Dredd) and based on the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, The Gunman follows Penn’s Jim Terrier, an international assassin who longs to put his murderous days behind him. When his former organization vows to silence him on their exploits, they kidnap his girlfriend (Jasmine Trinca), prompting Terrier to embark on a dangerous mission to retrieve her.
As you might anticipate, his ordeal spans the globe in a generous nod to Taken. On hand are a number of action archetypes who pop up in the shape of Javier Bardem as the obligatory villain, Idris Elba as a buddy and Ray Winstone in the wise mentor role. Capitalizing on the worldwide success of the Neeson franchise, it offers a new perspective on Penn, who at long last is taking to the action hero genre.
Will it prove to be a solid actioner in its own right, or a mere retread? We’ll find out when The Gunman opens in theatres March 20th, 2015.
In THE GUNMAN, Sean Penn stars as a former special forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD. He tries to reconnect with his long time love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name.