Gunmen (1994 film)
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|Directed by||Deran Sarafian|
|Written by||Stephen Sommers|
|Music by||John Debney|
|Edited by||Bonnie Koehler|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Box office||$3.4 million (US)|
Gunmen is a 1994 action-comedy film directed by Deran Sarafian. It stars Mario Van Peebles, Christopher Lambert, Denis Leary, Kadeem Hardison, and Patrick Stewart. Robert Harper and Brenda Bakke are co-stars of the film. It was released to home video by Lionsgate Home Entertainment and on the US iTunes Store.
Wheelchair-bound drug baron Peter Loomis (Patrick Stewart) has his $400 million drug fortune stolen in South America by his errand boy Carlos, who stashed the fortune on an undisclosed boat in an undisclosed harbor. Loomis sends ruthless killer Armor O'Malley (Denis Leary) to find the boat and recover the money—he and sidekick Marie (Brenda Bakke) kill Carlos before they can get the name and location of the boat, but they learn that Carlos's brother Dani (Christopher Lambert) knows where it is, and set out to find him.
Dani is sprung from a South American prison by Cole Parker (Mario Van Peebles), a bounty hunter working for the DEA who is bent on taking down Loomis—Cole knows the name of the boat, Dani knows the location, and both men want the money for their own reasons. Complicating matters is a mole in the DEA who feeds intel to O'Malley about the heroes' movements. Alone and outnumbered, Cole and Dani are forced into a reluctant alliance as they quest for the 400 million dollar boat, with O'Malley and his men chasing them every step of the way.
Loomis quickly realizes that O'Malley wants the fortune for himself and tries to have him and his men assassinated, but the attempt fails. O'Malley returns to Loomis's estate and makes it clear that he now wears the pants in their relationship: without the $400 million, Loomis can't pay his soldiers, and O'Malley will get his hands on the money before the stay-at-home cripple does. Loomis is killed and O'Malley renews the chase with a small army at his disposal.
After numerous betrayals on both sides of the conflict, the chase ends at a Puerto Vallarta harbor, and a yacht called the "Matador" according to Cole. Dani and Cole shoot it out with O'Malley's soldiers and leave the boat a flaming wreck (and Dani beside himself at the loss of the money). But Cole reveals he lied about the boat name to mislead and eliminate O'Malley: the fortune was actually stashed on a rickety old fishing boat called the "Gunmen." The heroes agree to split the money and sail into the sunset.
Production and studio cuts
Movie was filmed in nine weeks between April 20 and June 18 of 1992, but it wasn't released until February 4 of 1994, more than a year and a half after it was finished. Besides releasing all the later DVD versions of the movie in cropped 1.33:1 pan and scan format instead of 2.35:1 widescreen one in which the movie was originally filmed, Miramax and Dimension Films also went and cut it down by around five minutes before it was released theatrically only in 800 screens. The film was originally much harder, and featured greater violence and language, and most of the cuts were made on those scenes because studios wanted to make it safer and more appealing to the general movie going audience. Uncut version of the film was never released.
The original widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio cut is available for purchase on Apple's US iTunes Store. There are two known DVD versions of Gunmen which present the film in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio: The Japanese release from Columbia Tristar and a Hungarian version released as Fenegyerekek. All other versions of the DVD are only presented in a cropped 1.33:1 format.
The official soundtrack to Gunmen was released on December 21, 1993. It was released and distributed through MCA Records. The soundtrack consists of hip hop, reggae, rock, and R&B music.
- Bite the Bullet (Frost) (4:33)
- Gunman (Big Daddy Kane) (3:17)
- Heat it Up (Rakim) (3:44)
- Time to Make the Dough Nutz (Young Black Teenagers) (3:51)
- I Know You Got Soul (Eric B. and Rakim) (4:35)
- Love & Happiness (Morgan Heritage) (4:27)
- Run Through the Jungle (Los Lobos) (3:46)
- Stranger in My Life (Christopher Williams) (4:33)
- The House (Cruzados) (4:08)
- Jungle Chase (John Debney) (1:00)
Gunmen holds a 15% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 13 reviews; the average rating is 3.3/10. Emanuel Levy of Variety wrote, "Mindlessly cartoonish, Gunmen lacks the expected frills and spiteful tension of a serviceable actioner."