Parents' Guide to

Die in a Gunfight

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Likable but lifeless "Romeo and Juliet" update; guns, blood.

Movie R 2021 92 minutes
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For all of its colorful characters and attempts at comic book coolness, this violence-infused, star-crossed romance ultimately feels even less than lightweight. It feels as if it's about nothing at all. Notable for having been named to the Hollywood "Black List" in 2010 -- a list of the best unproduced screenplays -- Die in a Gunfight seems as if it perhaps read better in print form than it plays out on the screen. One of the best characters, Mukul (Wade Allain-Marcus), is the Mercutio equivalent, loyal to Ben's Romeo. He has some wonderful line readings, almost musical, and yet none of them really come to anything. He's not even relevant to the story.

Another great character is Wayne (Fimmel), whose partner in crime is Barbie (Emmanuelle Chriqui). He has some wonderfully intense moments, far more powerful than anything in the main story, and yet he feels marginalized. At least Daddario brings a wide-eyed excitement to her character, as Mary begins to hope for the future and to believe that happiness is possible. Otherwise, Die in a Gunfight attempts to do the same thing that Romeo + Juliet did far better in 1996, and ultimately feels irrelevant. As likable as it sometimes is, it comes across as a vague outline of Shakespeare's play, with place markers instead of plot turns.

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