“After leaving a life of crime and violence, Ray is a reformed good guy, enjoying a quiet family life in the ‘burbs. But when his past is discovered, Ray is blackmailed into one last job to collect a mysterious package. After a deadly double-cross, he finds himself wounded and on the run from ruthless assassins who will stop at nothing to get what he has. Now, with the lives of his loved ones hanging in the balance and danger at every turn, Ray’s only hope is to draw upon his violent past to survive.”

Director: Christopher Borrelli
Writer: Christopher Borrelli
Staring: Richard Kind, Mark Dacascos, Janel Parish, Ben Milliken
Release Date: March 17, 2022

You want the vibe of this Run & Gun (2022), check out the movie poster. It is Run & Gun to the letter.

Really just a great movie poster, let’s be honest

Ray (Ben Milliken) is often a man with no name, but after one last job of near-death assassinating and criminal undertaking, he decides to settle down and live a bit of the normal life. The blond, charismatic hero is working with stupid lawyers, overseeing interns and balancing a life with his girlfriend and her kid when his past begins to revisit him.

Grayson (Richard King) is a criminal man of high standing with his only boss being The Shoemaker, who is the women that Ray used to work for as well before he left the criminal world behind. He blackmails Ray to help him on a irregular journey involving a mysterious bag and load of money. The staples of a simplistic mission going wrong are in place, so now is the time Ray must find himself in a bit of trouble.

Our hero gets stuck in more than a few sticky spots over the final half of the story. Ray has to navigate through numerous gunshot wounds, swinging double-crosses, and a spontaneously reveled child-trafficking gun-happy maniac all in an effort to get his normal life back. Can Ray navigate these speed bumps all under the hot desert sun, or does he get cooked by his past?

Run & Gun is carried by one thing, and one thing alone, and that is the performance of Ben Milliken as Ray. When people say how accents can make a person more attractive, you can send them Ray from this movie and it’ll make an apt example. Milliken knows what type of movie he is in, and it’s one where plot plays secondary fiddle to [positive vibes. The character of Ray is reminiscent of Indiana Jones in the simplest of ways; both had a smile that could disarm someone, both have a disposition for finding trouble where it’s most unlikely, and each has a manic way of escaping even the most deadly scenarios.

Now let’s be clear right now. Run & Gun is not anywhere near any of the Indiana Jones originals. The plot is welded together with the hands of a drunkard and there are more conveniences dropped in than a lying kid could come up with. Any movie that has a happy-go-lucky hero is going to need to take a few shortcuts, but Run & Gun often cheats with the exuberance of a high school student desperate to play teacher’s pet.

Run & Gun is the first movie directed by Christopher Borrelli. For having been working in the movie industry since 1993, Borrelli does not have the most extensive resume. This directorial debut is made with the some enthusiasm of an art-student presenting his first semester thesis.

Are there grand ideas/decisions that are framed as immense but are in reality a little elementary? Yes. Is simplicity, whether on purpose or by accident, sometimes the best course of action? You betcha.

Even with the faults in this low-budget movie, Run & Gun manages to create more fun feelings than disappointing dispositions. If you are a movie that can manage to create a unique enough aesthetic of positive vibes and unknowingly-smiling charisma, then you have some something word admiring. Run & Gun was not made for recognition, rather it was put out for pure fun.

STANKO RATING: B (3.5/5 Stars)

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