Richard Norton and "Gun" deliver real action!
W. Gantt | Birmingham, Alabama United States | 12/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Norton delivers a great performance as a troubled hero
seeking redemption during one chaotic night. Former hockey icon
Frank Torrence (Norton) runs a bar where he's plagued with debt
and past scandals from his sports career. Making matters worse,
an antagonistic cop wants to set Torrence up as his next high-
profile arrest. Bags of drugs begin to surface in the bar mysteriously while Torrence is attempting to court the pub's
prospective purchasers. Frank's wife waits by the phone for his
call and fulfillment of his promise that the couple will board a
plane for another place and a better future. Everyone else seems
to have other plans for Frank's future. Can Torrence outwit the cops, sell the bar and make good on his personal promises...all
within the course of one very stressful night? The pace toward resolution in "Under the Gun" is brisk, full of plot twists and suspense without a car chase or computer effect in sight. Crisp dialogue and Norton's unrelenting energy make "Gun" prime choice for every action fan's DVD collection."
"Under the Gun" is On Target!
W. Gantt | Birmingham, Alabama United States | 11/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As Frank Torrence, Richard Norton delivers a knock-out performance as a hero seeking redemption over one chaotic night.
He's a former pro-hockey icon reduced by scandal to running a
bar where his sense of loyalty to former teammates and friends
sets him up for another fall. An adversarial cop on the police
force would love to make Frank his next high-profile arrest. Bags
of drugs begin to appear mysteriously in the bar. Frank must
discover who is betraying him on the "inside" while he attempts
to sell the saloon and make good on his promise to his wife to
get rid of the business and start their lives anew. Crisp
dialogue and Norton's unrelenting brand of intelligent action
make "Gun" a movie to target for your collection."
Watch Richard Kick Some Butt
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 12/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After fifteen years of being the top villain/fall guy in action films of both hemispheres, it was high time that Richard Norton got a starring vehicle of his own - I'm only disappointed that it had to be "Under the Gun". Don't get me wrong, this is a decent little action/comedy piece, but you'd think that at this point, Norton had proven his abilities enough to be given a slightly bigger budgeted project. Perhaps first-time director Matthew George is to blame, but don't worry about it: through sheer force of will, Norton and a handful of co-stars managed to make a ridiculously cheap action movie that's still worth watching for fans and devotees. If you like Richard, then this one is just worth the `round $10 you'll be paying for it, but if you have yet to be weaned off of The Matrix, don't bother.
The story: Frank Torrance (Norton, Mr. Nice Guy, City Hunter) is a debt-ridden club owner who has one last chance to save both his club and his life from various antagonists - the Triads and Italian mafia, a corrupt policeman, and an angry pimp ready to get even by any means - while doing his best to quell headaches caused by his junkie cousin and his overly-suspicious wife (Jane Badler, V).
Very early on, it becomes clear the film was produced very cheaply: the cinematography is only a step above a TV sitcom, the editing looks like it was done on a home computer, and the sets are resoundingly unimpressive (Frank's bar, for example, looks like a half-empty soundstage with a drink counter at one end). There are only three of these sets, since the film only takes place in one location; you'll come to know them as well as the characters, and this isn't bad if you appreciate the seat-of-the-pants charm, but if tackiness bothers you, well, that's another reason not to bother with this movie. The cast is give-and-take: Norton and Jane Badler are likeable and talented, respectively, but Peter Lindsey as Frank's ex-hocky star/screwup cousin, the late Robert Bruce (stuntman and fight choreographer behind The Piano) as the trouble-shooting detective, and kickboxing champion Kathy Long (Knights) as Frank's enforcer-buddy have spotty theater skills, but they've managed to put together a decently entertaining set of characters.
The film is luckier than most others that it has decent action scenes to fall back on. Though the first few of the eventual seven brawls are a bit rough on the eyes, the ensuing ones are not only decently-choreographed but also feature a general innovativeness that sets it apart from films made for much more money (for example, it'd wasn't since The Legend of Drunken Master that someone had thought to set their shoes on fire to fight). Not only does Richard get to show that he can both take a punch and throw a kick, but Kathy Long has arguably some of the best fights of her limited film career. Norton's brawls with Ron Vreeken (Rage & Honor 2 - Hostile Takeover) and martial arts powerhouse Sam Greco take the cake for their ingenuity and technical know-how, and would have been absolute showstoppers had they filmed at greater expense. This is a perfect example of where the action content really saves the picture.
Is this a necessary movie? - absolutely not, unless you're a complete Richard Norton nut. The film really feels like an experiment, as though the producers wanted to see if it was possible to make something decent out of an inexperienced director, a semi-distinguished leading man, a gratis soundstage, and a budget of maybe a hundred Australian dollars. Norton & co. managed to defy the odds on this one, but even in pictures where he's the bad guy and inevitably gets killed, you get a better viewing experience than here. For fans, only."
Entertaining Action with Richard Norton In Top Form
Trevor William Douglas | Gorokan, NSW Australia | 12/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Also released in Australia as Iron Fist, this film is a showcase for the talents of Richard Norton and Kathy Long. Both have ample fight sequences and the film moves along at a brisk pace. The acting is good and the supporting cast do a nice job as well. Add it to your collection today."