Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Enis Rotthoff

QuickView: Guns Akimbo (2019)

“Fun factoid, guns are way louder than in the movies. In real life, Rambo would not be killing guerilla fighters, he would be learning sign language.”


Continuing Radcliffe’s trend of selecting eccentric roles, Guns Akimbo is a boisterously deranged flick about underground games of murder streamed to viewers online. It draws inspiration from a wide range of sources: the vicious setups of Saw, the comicbook hyperviolence of Kick-Ass, the videogame-inspired visual effects of Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and the audience commentary of The Truman Show. These ingredients are mixed rather than blended, creating an off-kilter concoction that never quite forms a cohesive whole. Guns Akimbo is designed to be enjoyed, so there is little room for self-reflection or meaning behind its violence, save for a nod to the typically preposterous romance in this style of movie (“this isn’t a love story about some nerd trying to get the girl like she’s an Xbox achievement to be unlocked”). If you switch off your brain there is enough to enjoy on the ridiculous ride but, whilst its specific combination of influences seems fresh, Guns Akimbo has nothing to offer which hasn’t been done with greater artistry before.


QuickView: Look Who’s Back (2015)

Look Who's Back poster

“He looks the same. He says the same things. And back then, people were laughing at first, too.”

Großmutter Krömeier

Perhaps watching this film on an election day was an error, its satirical perspective on the ease with which populism returns hitting far too close to home. It is only in the last few decades that Germany has started directly to address rather than censor Nazism in its media (most notably with Bruno Ganz’s remarkable performance in Downfall). Yet a German comedy about Hitler remains a bold move, even if a book provides the source material. The majority of the film is scripted narrative, with Hitler suddenly waking in modern Germany. As a comedy, it is sporadically funny. Its strength lies in unsettling parallels with real world populism as Hitler becomes a TV sensation — the audience finding they agree with some of his points so overlook or forgive his more despicable statements. Ultimately, they turn on him only when it comes to animal — rather than human — cruelty. The greatest impact comes from (apparently genuine) sequences of “Hitler” interacting with members of the public whom we see drop their guard to reveal disquieting views. This is the template perfected by Sasha Baron Cohen, although here it is used sparingly and without the intention of provoking specific responses. Perhaps the limited extent of these sequences should provide some comfort ⁠— one only hopes that it was difficult to find more people willing to express those views.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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