Set in New York City, Die in a Gunfight is a modern tale of Romeo + Juliet. The story is narrated by actor Billy Crudup, who first introduces the audience to Ben Gibbon (Diego Boneta). Ben is well known for taking a beating and never seems to give up a good fight. This is especially true when he first meets the love of his life, Mary Rathcart (Alexandra Daddario). In the present day, it’s been a long time since the two have even heard from each other.
Just like the well known Shakespeare tale, Ben and Mary’s families have been at war with each other, feuding through business media for many years. While Ben is visiting a club and covered in bruises and scars from his most recent fight, he unexpectedly sees Mary once again. The two are romantically reunited, and it’s not long until they decide to get married and run away together once and for all. While this might sound easy to do, Ben and Mary will have plenty in their way trying to tear them apart permanently, including family members and a dangerous hitman who also wants Mary to be the love of his life. It’s going to be a bloody wedding day filled with revenge and love.
While an opening narration is usually welcomed, I was quite surprised to see how much narration was required to explain the details of this story to its viewers. Even after ten minutes, the narration was still telling the story rather than showing viewers major details. Sure, we are given brief animations that look cool, but this opening gave me a bad feeling about how the story would play out.
To cut to the chase, there’s very little to see here. The plot is as thin as paper, and nothing new or ground-breaking in cinema will be found here. While I must admit that a modern-day Romeo + Juliet story surrounded by modern family feuds with hitmen and gunfights sounds like fun, ultimately, I was shocked to find how bored I was in this film. While the thin plot has a part to play, the ultimate reason for my boredom was the characters.
The problem with these characters is that they are uninteresting and are given very little to do. Even our leading characters fighting for love couldn’t win me over for a split second. I was annoyed at how often the film would follow a side character in a story that gave very little entertainment or served no real purpose to the core plot. Granted, while I found no enjoyment in his screen presence, to begin with, actor Travis Fimmel did manage to make me chuckle at least once or two, only because he has one hundred per cent commitment to this film. His character was like a murderous puppy dog focusing on all things love, an aspect that did wear on me eventually.
Overall, there’s no way to say it other than this was highly disappointing. A modern-day Romeo + Juliet is certainly welcomed, but this was weak, uninteresting and nothing ground-breaking. We are given many characters to follow, but like the plot, I couldn’t invest in any of them as they do very little on-screen to keep movie lovers engaged, entertained or excited. Credit where credits due, the film has tried to be creative, fun and modern, but in the end, it’s just a film that I’ve already forgotten about. Die in a Gunfight (2021) is Now Available on DVD!