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Gun Shy (November 9/00)

Having expected Gun Shy to go to theatres, I was somewhat surprised when it debuted on video instead. With a cast including Sandra Bullock and Liam Neeson, Gun Shy must have seemed like a sure thing. Alas, that's not always the case.

Liam Neeson stars as an exceedingly nervous undercover agent for the FBI; he's constantly worried his identity will be discovered. Sandra Bullock plays a nurse he meets during an enema (yes, really). And Oliver Platt stars as a mobster so tough, the first time we see him, he's about to cut the hand off of his neighbor for supposedly stealing his newspaper.

Heavy on histrionics but light on on character development, Gun Shy is entertaining piffle. It's not boring as much as it's...forgettable. The actors are all very good - particularly Platt - but there's just something lacking. Unlike most good comedies (the recent Meet the Parents comes to mind), Gun Shy just doesn't know how to handle it's characters. Mostly, they're motivated by what the plot requires them to do, rather than what they would logically be doing.

Example: Liam Neeson hates his job, so much so that it's giving him stomach cramps. Would the logical thing not be to find a new line of work? But since the plot requires that Neeson stay in this job, he does. Yeah, some of it is funny, but mostly it's just stupid. Comedy from forced situations is never as funny as comedy that comes out of a real place.

Then again, a terrible non-comedy like American Pie was a huge hit, so what do I know about funny?

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