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The Way Of The Gun
cast: Ryan Phillippe, Benicio Del Toro, Juliettte Lewis, James Caan, and Taye Diggs

writer and director: Christopher McQuarrie

95 minutes (18) 2000
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Momentum Take One DVD Region 2 retail
[released 17 March]

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Ian Shutter
This is the directorial debut of Christopher McQuarrie, screenwriter of The Usual Suspects. Basically, it's a modern western with noir thriller elements, about a pair of outlaw characters known as 'Longbaugh' (Benicio Del Toro) and 'Parker' (Ryan Phillipe), after cowboy criminal legends Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Our antiheroes plan to kidnap surrogate mother Robin (Juliette Lewis), and ransom her unborn baby back to the wealthy adopters, Hale and Francesca Chidduck (Scott Wilson and Kristin Lehman), but they find themselves out of their depth because of the Chidducks' mafia connections...
   The film's morally ambiguous characters, its excellent supporting cast - which includes James Caan, Geofffrey Lewis, and some memorable action - an excellent sniper sequence, and a striking final shootout, combine with a highly impressive, powerful score by Joe Kraemer. It strips the bark off every crime movie cliché and stereotype you can think of. Caan is especially good as Joe Sarno, aged problem solver for the Mob, who enjoys some great dialogue scenes together with rising star, Del Toro. Because of its unusual and offbeat storyline, various unexpected twists, and its largely gritty dramatic content, The Way Of The Gun is surely destined for major cult significance.
   DVD extras: anamorphic widescreen format, Dolby digital 5.1 sound, English subtitles, cast interviews and biographies, commentary track by the director and composer, isolated score with composer's commentary, trailer, scene index in 18 chapters.