REVIEW: GUNS AKIMBO is balls to the wall fun.


Samara Weaving and Daniel Radcliffe headline this insane living Fortnite game of a film that is equal parts Suicide Squad, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wanted, and American Ultra in an ultraviolent little package.

You have to give props to Daniel Radcliffe for his career following his starring turn in the Harry Potter franchise. He could’ve easily moved into easy prestige picture fair, but instead has consistently chosen unique and edgy film projects to get behind in his film career. From his roles as a demonic monster in the film adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns, to his turn as a bloated magical farting corpse in Swiss Army Man, no one can say Radcliffe doesn’t throw himself fully into unorthodox parts. That path continues in director Jason Lei Howden’s Guns Akimbo, opening in select theaters today. Radcliffe plays Miles, a meek smartphone game programmer by day who takes out his anger and insecurities by reporting on trolls online, most notably on the message board for a hyper-violent live-action game show called Schizm, which is one part Series 7: The Contenders, one part Death Race 2000, where random people are drafted to fight for their lives against competitors with the winner being promised freedom. The reigning champion is Nix, (Ready or Not’s Samara Weaving) a half Tank Girl/half Harley Quinn crazed warrior valkyrie, who is one win away from freedom. The game’s admin, Riktor (Mandy’s Ned Dennehy) drafts Miles into Schizm to hunt down Nix after Miles’ trolling gets out of control. As an added punishment, he bolts 2 pistols with 50 bullets each to each of his hands and gives him one day to take out Nix to end her bout for freedom.

While the basic plot of Guns Akimbo is heavily influenced by Death Race 2000, the film’s execution is very much in line with the hyper-stylized video game violence of films like Scott Pilgrim, Turbo Kid, and The FP. Dripping with 80’s references and songs, Guns Akimbo, while extremely violent and gory, is much in the line of films like Deadpool where the level of cartoonish over-the-top violence is part of the charm. Weaving steals the film and should Margot Robbie ever tire of her role as Harley, Weaving channels the same insane manic energy in the similar role of Nix here. Guns Akimbo largely feels like the film Suicide Squad or 31 should have been, with crazy and everyday people drafted into life or death situations with a high level of gallows humor. Radcliffe excels as the fish-out-of-water Miles, who has to graduate from keyboard warrior to actual hero to rescue his ex-girlfriend Nova who is also drafted in the proceedings against her will. But it’s Weaving, who has impressed in genre fare like Ready or Not and The Babysitter, that really feels like the breakout star. Her one-liners and wild performance, given with an interesting backstory have you rooting for her character, especially in a hilarious ’80s inspired power-up sequence that has a weirdly similar counterpart in Birds of Prey. Likewise, Dennehy, who served as the head lackey Swan, in 2019’s Nicholas Cage film Mandy, excels as the charismatic tattooed villain Riktor who you’re cheering for to lose.

In many ways, Guns Akimbo is a throwback to the glory of the action genre film. It wears it’s many influences proudly on its sleeve; from JCVD and Rambo films to Roger Corman’s schlock B-movies. It’s the great effects, writing, and cinematography that makes it super fun to watch and it sucks you in. If you have the chance, check it out.