A rocky past involving the assassination of the Congolese mining minister returns to bite a reformed hitman turned development worker (Penn) when someone takes a shot at him. Who’s behind it? With Morel (Taken) directing, the only mystery here is why Penn has jettisoned activist and acting credentials and compromised those of his A-list cohorts in favour of rock-hard abs, a paltry script and a leaky plot – also featuring Idris Elba as an enigmatic secret service agent. At least he keeps his shirt on.
The Gunman | Directed by Pierre Morel (Spain, UK, France 2015) with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance. Starts April 30
Originally published in issue #138, May 2015.