Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s decade of dominance at the pinnacle of action cinema has a lot to answer for. Not only did his unstoppable ascendancy up the Hollywood A-list as the genre’s poster boy lead to a host of musclebound lunkheads lending their hand at trying to become movie stars, but the after-effects of his subsequent forays into comedy can still be felt today.
It’s become something of a rite of passage for any notable action hero to venture into the realms of family comedy. Indeed, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Dave Bautista, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg and many more have all tried to make audiences laugh after building their reputation gunning down the bad guys in a string of shoot em’ ups.
Of course, Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Junior and Jingle All the Way were all decent-sized box office hits, but it would be a long time before Schwarzenegger returned to comedy, and when he did, it flew completely under the radar. Written and directed by Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killiam, Killing Gunther stars the former Governor of California as the title character, a legendary assassin who finds himself being hunted by a group of upstart hitmen looking to make a name for themselves.
It’s a solid premise, but the mockumentary format was the wrong move, as a straightforward narrative would have worked much better. That being said, Arnold Schwarzenegger is clearly having a blast playing his established screen persona for laughs, and the supporting cast are all game to poke fun at themselves as the laughably inept killers for hire. It’s not his best work by any means, but Killing Gunther is worth a late night or lazy weekend watch now that it’s available on Netflix.