Most of the films at his year’s Sundance have titles which only loosely fit their subject matter. An American Crime was about a crime committed in America, but there wasn’t anything overtly American about it. Rocket Science was not about Science, nor was it about Rockets. And now we have Weapons, a movie which involves gang violence but isn’t at all really about the guns or the effects of their use. Instead it’s about two rival gangs, separated mostly by race who enter into a feud which ends in a few dearths.
The movie begins showing a young black man named Reggie (Nick Cannon) eating a burger in slow-motion. The shot lasts probably two minutes, eating, chewing, and not much else. And then we see a figure enter the burger joint in the background. He removes a shotgun and fires, blowing the Reggie’s head all over the camera. The rest of the movie shows us how it came to this. Misusing fragmented point of view segments, Weapons tries to complicate what is really simple.
When Reggie finds a black eye on his sister’s face, he is catapulted into a mission to kill the guy who raped her. This sets off a series of events that we sometimes see twice from different point of views, and eventually ends where it began.
Weapons is a cliched look at gang violence in southern California. It features a bunch of lackluster performances and lacks any personal message. What is the point? May-be that’s the message. May-be the director proposes that if it weren’t for the Weapons it would have only come to blows, and no one would have died. But this is neither implied or hinted at.
/Film Rating: 5 out of 10
Starring: Nick Cannon, Paul Dano, Mark Webber, Riley Smith, Jade Yorker
Directed by: Adam Bhala Lough