(Tamra Davis, USA, 1992)


Guncrazy is a contribution to the doomed-young-lovers-on-the-run genre dear to popular cinema – but a rather more modest contribution than advance hype made out.

Although compared to Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and the delirious old B movie Gun Crazy (1949), it is much closer to the low key, intimate mood of Nicholas Ray’sThey Live by Night (1948). Like Ray, director Tamra Davis emphasises the pathos of teenagers “never properly introduced to the world we live in” – alienating themselves from normal society while craving its peace and security.

Drew Barrymore plays a young woman who is bored and abused, pining for romance – and she finds it in the form of ex-convict James LeGros, whose only ambition is for a job that will let him shoot guns.

Writer Matthew Bright (later to be the director of Freeway [1996]) lines up easy targets for droll satire – like Billy Drago as a demented preacher coiling snakes around himself during sermons.

Whatever poignancy the film possesses is due solely to the quietly intense conviction which the lead actors bring to their roles.

MORE Barrymore: Never Been Kissed, The Wedding Singer

© Adrian Martin October 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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