Runaway Pistol
Hong Kong 2002
Directed by Lam Wah Chuen.

The premise of RUNAWAY PISTOL -- an entire movie from the point of view of a gun, as it moves from owner to owner -- is high concept and one might think almost doomed to stupidity. Several American movies have already done similar things -- chance encounters changing perspective, or a dollar bill changing hands from one person to another. But a well written and inventive script manages to inject the film with life beyond just the sales pitch. The gun profoundly changes lives, but never in a way that is quite expected. The film drifts from the darkly serious, to the comic, to the bizarre, and back again. The action is occassionally seen in a gun POV shot, at other times we see what the gun owner fantasizes as real, still other times the real and the fantastic merge. The gun itself narrates the story. Lam Wah Chuen pushes the unpleasant metaphor of humans as fish throughout the picture, opening with a sadistic child putting fighting fish into a single tank and watching them kill each other senselessly. They don't know why they do this, it is simply in their nature. In the end, we long for redemption, but only the gun itself is able to deliver.

Rating: Recommended (Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on September 08, 2004.

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