Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Reggie (Nick Cannon) is sitting in a restaurant eating a burger and fries minding his own damn business when some cat comes in this joint and blows his head clean off. This was kind of tragic I guess but as greasy as that hamburger and fries were, Reggie would’ve been dead in a couple of weeks anyway. So why would anybody want to kill Reggie? This is the end of director Adam Bhala Lough’s nihilistic disjointed 'Kids Gone Really Really Bad' movie ‘Weapons’, and to find out this other information you need to start at the beginning.

Sean (Mark Webber) is back in his beatup, dilapidated, run down, factory abandoned hometown after a completing a year in college. Jason (Riley Smith), his number one, pays the kid a visit bearing the gift of blount, followed by Chris (Paul Dano), his number two, showing up with his video camera in tow. They’ll get into why Chris carts around this camcorder everywhere a little bit more down the line but Jason seems to have had enough of the whiny Chris. Anyway it’s off to the courts to find some guy who jumped Jason the other day and elicit some retribution. As it happens the dude’s not there so they just hang out to ball for bit. Actor Riley Smith can actually ball. I hate to get sidetracked but it’s not like have any control over myself so I gotta do what I gotta do. But I have a real pet peeve when you see a movie where some character claims to know how to play basketball and obviously can’t. It’s a long list of movies in which this tragedy occurs that I’m not going to get into but I am glad to see that the actor can actually play even though his ability to play isn’t all that relevant to the plot of this movie.

Anyway, next thing you know Jason is lying shot dead on the court. Why would anybody shoot Jason dead? There goes Reggie which requires us to backtrack little bit further since Reggie has been told by his sister Sabrina (Regine Nehy), under some duress, that Jason raped her and punched her in the eye. This begins Reggie’s rather colorful odyssey to find a gun in which to avenge this affront against his beloved sister.

Speaking of baby sister she has a story to tell too which deserves some attention with everything coming around full circle to the whiny, pimply faced and supremely irritating Chris and his omnipresent video camera. And the shotgun he carries in the back of his Taurus station wagon. In retrospect Sean should’ve stayed at school and got himself a summer job.

Not that I’m comparing Lough’s ‘Weapons’ to the Cohen Brothers ‘No Country for Old Men’ because that wouldn’t be fair to this much smaller movie, but the feeling I had after I had shut this movie off was very similar in Cohen Brothers alleged masterpiece in that they were both overall very unpleasant experiences. You would think that a movie that starts off with some cat getting his head blown clean off could only go up from there but you would be mistaken because at this point we don’t know any of these characters. As the movie goes on we get to know these characters with each character seemingly less palatable than the next, and then there are the things these characters do so that by the time we circle back to the beginning, getting one’s head shot clean off is almost a relief.

But just because a movie is unpleasant, and extremely so at times, doesn’t make it a bad movie. Discussing the worth of ‘Weapons’ as either good or bad is more of a challenge, at least for me, because I found it be neither. It features some solid performances from its cast, especially Nick Cannon who has turned in some high caliber performances in the last few movies I’ve seen him in. This might parallel his marriage to Mariah Carey. I don’t know. Sounds reasonable though. Lough uses various shooting styles in getting his message across, whatever the hell that message is supposed to be, by using different film stocks, spending a lot of time looking through Chris’s digital video camera, some scenes feature long continuous shots, and of course there’s the disjointed time line used to tell the story. But was entertaining? Not particularly. I’m not sure what the point of the exercise was or what message that the storytellers were trying push across and so I really don’t know quite what to make of this film. But it is unique in a sense and does feature a story that is well told and well executed and the talent in making this film was evident all around.

A conundrum, at least for me, when approaching the final result of this film ‘Weapons’ which seems thematically pointless but artistically rich.

Real Time Web