Guns Akimbo Review by Accessreel

The first reviews for Samara’s upcoming film “Guns Akimbo” have started to surface online, and I’ll share a couple with you the next weeks while we wait for the premiere! First up is a very positive one from Accessreel, which you can read below.

Accessreel | GUNS AKIMBO launches into the action from its very first frame. Our narrator is Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) a put-upon video game developer who hates his job; he is under the thumb working on a money-spinning hypercasual game that he has no respect for. His boss bullies him. His long-term girlfriend Nova (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) has left him (probably). When he’s home alone in his flat, he gets hammered and taunts people, that he considers beneath him, online. And then one day, his activities gets him mixed up with the people who run Skizm.

Skizm is the real-world illegal death-match fight club that runs continuously online. It pits one single fighter against another and the scope its gameplay ranges across an unnamed American city. What the audience doesn’t know, nor care, about is that the people behind Skizm use threats and blackmail to choose who fights whom and when. Miles discovers the hard way what kind of deep-level coercion is involved, when he is kidnapped and forced to fight Nix (Samara Weaving). She is the best fighter to ever play the game. Her ratings are through the roof. She is a speedy, fearless, psychotically-lethal opponent. And Miles is a physically unimpressive, poorly co-ordinated keyboard warrior. The match-up is ludicrous. He will need all his wits, and extraordinary luck, to win this fight.

This new action comedy film is written and directed by New Zealand director Jason Lei Howden. Best known for his horror-comedy debut DEATHGASM (2015), everything about this movie is set to impress a broader international audience. The action and effects are solid. The world of video games is the template for many of the visuals and aesthetics of the movie. Although the game has real participants, the fact it is online, has a soundtrack that features the running dialogue of the Skizm casters, displays the scores ticking over and contains a cartoonish level of the violence, make it purposely less confronting for the movie’s audience. Miles facing down uniformed and masked assailants is the equivalent of you or me playing a first-person shooter. This is all handled with skill and efficiency reminiscent of Edgar Wright’s SCOTT PILGRIM VS.THE WORLD (2010).

The script is a wry comedy with a thread of social commentary running through it. Miles seems to be a decent guy, but he is about to be tested by an extreme situation. Howden’s portrait of pre-Skizm Miles and the effects his experience has on him, raises some interesting questions about how we use games and the Internet and the overall effect it has on our perception of what our lives are for. Howden’s direction and pacing is noteworthy; the heartfelt moments land and so do most of the quieter physical comedy sequences involving Miles. This has the net effect of keeping us guessing about the take or angle of any new scene.

Daniel Radcliffe last played Harry Potter in 2011. And although he will always be known for that role, he has done a sterling job of playing a variety of stage, television and film roles. Here he delivers a centred lead character who easily captures our attention and holds it. He is a young, but veteran actor, who knows how to play a likeable character and connect with the audience.

Australia’s Samara Weaving as Nix, plays her most blood-thirsty character yet. Interestingly, certain folks keep employing the old-fashioned term Scream Queen to note Weaving’s horror-adjacent roles, but this is wide of the mark. As in THE BABYSITTER (2017), MAYHEM (2017) and READY OR NOT (2019) you don’t remember her characters for their scream-power. She is the go-to-actress for wielding weaponry in this Blumhouse-influenced, genre-flick era we are living in. She and Radcliffe have good chemistry in their scenes together.

GUNS AKIMBO refers to the “dual wielding” of weapons. Apparently not recommended by your sword or gun warriors in real life, but history tells us it’s an absolute necessity in the movies and then in games (i.e. it looks cool).. Who do we praise or blame for this? Director John Woo? Shall we discuss the use of the New York Reload? Or shall I just get on with this review. Yeah, fine.

As Howden’s title hints, this is about a heightened, unreal world; something of a sandbox game. The metropolitan setting is like Resident Evil’s Raccoon City. Real people are mostly sidelined non-player characters. Film Influences like THE RUNNING MAN (1987) and JOHN WICK (2014) are buried in there somewhere, too. Although the way characters go through violence and damage has more in common with movies, games and comics, there is no fourth wall to be broken. There are human emotions at stake with these characters and if they die, they won’t respawn. The sum of all this genre-mashing is an exciting, clever, funny 1 hour and 35 minutes at the movies. My rating (8.5/10)

GUNS AKIMBO opens in Australia in a limited run on February 28. You can see it first via Monsterfest – Click here

Official trailer for ‘Guns Akimbo’

Hello Samara fans, and happy new year! I hope you’ve all had a great start to the new year. Due to offline responsibilities I unfortunately rarely found time to update the site towards the end of last year, but I hope 2020 will be a great year for both Samara and Samara Weaving Heaven! For our first update of the year, a new official trailer for her upcoming film ‘Guns Akimbo’ was recently released. Check it out below – it looks really great! More updates coming soon…

Miles’ (Daniel Radcliffe) nerdy existence as a video game developer takes a dramatic turn when he inadvertently gets caught up as the next contestant with SKIZM, an underground gang live-streaming real-life deathmatches. While Miles excels at running away from everything, that won’t help him outlast Nix (Samara Weaving), a killer at the top of her game. In select theaters February 28, 2020.

Samara filming Guns Akimbo in April (photos)

Hello Samara fans! During our downtime, Samara was in Auckland, New Zealand, to film her upcoming action comedy “Guns Akimbo”. Our gallery has now been updated with high quality photos of Samara at the set – better late than never, right? By the look of the pics, this role will be something unlike anything she has done in the past, and judging by these, she’s going to slay it! The film also stars Daniel Radcliffe, and is about a guy who relies on his newly-acquired gladiator skills to save his ex-girlfriend from kidnappers. I will update you as soon as there’s any new information on the film!

Miles is stuck in a dead-end job, still in love with his ex-girlfriend Nova. Unbeknownst to him, a gang called Skizm is running a deadly competition within his city in which complete strangers fight to the death for the entertainment of an online audience of millions. When Miles is unwittingly enrolled in the game and learns that Nova has been kidnapped, he must overcome his fears to fight the heavily-armed Nix, win, and save Nova.

Gallery Album Links:
+20 | Film Productions > Guns Akimbo > Filming, Auckland in New Zealand (April 30, 2018)

Samara Weaving joins Daniel Radcliffe in Guns Akimbo

Hello Samara fans! I came online to some very exciting news today… Samara has been cast in a new project! She is set to start alongside Daniel Radcliffe in the NZ filmmaker Jason Lei Howden‘s film “Guns Akimbo“. As the huge Harry Potter fan she is, I can imagine Samara being extremely excited to star alongside the main actor himself – we definitely can’t wait to see her in this! You can read more about the project below, and we’ll keep you updated on anything new about the film.

Kiwi filmmaker Jason Lei Howden began production on Guns Akimbo in Auckland on Saturday, with Samara Weaving joining Daniel Radcliffe in the cast.

The movie is described as an “adrenaline-fuelled, balls-to-the-wall original action comedy” and is the second feature for the writer/director following his hit 2015 horror comedy Deathgasm.

“I am massively excited to be here in Auckland starting filming on Guns Akimbo,” Radcliffe told Newshub. “Jason Lei Howden has written a brilliant and delightfully insane script, and working with him as director and alongside the fantastic Samara Weaving to bring it to life is going to be a lot of fun. If you see me around Auckland looking very worse for wear and covered in blood and bruises, don’t worry – this is probably for filming.”

Weaving, 26, is a former Home and Away star who was last seen on the big screen in award season darling Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Guns Akimbo will follow an ordinary man whose mundane existence is turned upside-down when he finds himself enrolled in a dark social media movement that forces strangers to fight in a city-wide game of death, live-streamed worldwide to a fanatical audience. Howden told Flicks.co.nz he hopes Guns Akimbo beats the ‘high watermark’ set by acclaimed modern action movie John Wick. On social media, the filmmaker has teased fans with glimpses of a rocket launcher and an American muscle car in tweets about the movie. (Source)