Known for big-budget action blowouts like “Con Air” and “The Expendables 2,” Simon West brings both bombast and self-awareness to the smaller action comedy “Gun Shy.” While it doesn’t bring the explosions — or the laughs — of previous films by the director, it features an all-out performance from Antonio Banderas that may be enough to keep some audiences entertained.
With his hair-band fame long past him, former rock star Turk Henry (Banderas) hasn’t left his Malibu mansion in years. Dragged by his supermodel wife, Sheila (Olga Kurylenko), he returns to his native Chile for a vacation. She is kidnapped while on a llama tour (of course) and held for ransom, and it’s up to the lazy, pampered Turk to save her.
The biggest problem for “Gun Shy” isn’t its ridiculous premise or its frequently silly tone; it’s that it doesn’t fully commit to either. West’s film doesn’t have as much fun with Turk’s ineptitude as it could, but it’s no fault of its lead, Banderas. Though the screenplay by Toby Davies and Mark Haskell Smith is based on Smith’s novel “Salty,” it feels as though it were written specifically for the actor. He’s charming and funny, owning the long, curly wig and rock-star swagger with ease. The actor is clearly having fun, but it isn’t enough to compensate for the movie’s otherwise patchy humor and bumbling script.
Rating: R, for language, some sexual content/nudity and drug material
Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Playing: Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood