HANDGUN is a spectacularly unspectacular action comedy. Petty criminal Jack McCallister (Seymour Cassel) leads a group of thugs in a robbery. In the ensuing fight, Jack loses two of his cohorts and abandons the third, escaping with half a million dollars in cash. Instead of leaving town right away, Jack decides to stay until he can say goodbye to his girlfriend...read more
HANDGUN is a spectacularly unspectacular action comedy.
Petty criminal Jack McCallister (Seymour Cassel) leads a group of thugs in a robbery. In the ensuing fight, Jack loses two of his cohorts and abandons the third, escaping with half a million dollars in cash. Instead of leaving town right away, Jack decides to stay until he can say goodbye to his
girlfriend and his two adult sons. News of the robbery and shoot-out hits the headlines around the same time that Jack's eldest son George (Treat Williams), a small-time punk, is picked up by police. The corrupt cops decide to let George go in order to follow him to his dad and steal the money.
In the meantime, Jack's other son Mike (Paul Schulze), a funeral-plot hustler, is beaten senseless by the relatives of a dead man he recently defrauded. Mike is also picked up by corrupt cops, who let him go on the condition that he call them if he gets any news of his father. What follows is a
series of shoot-outs and fistfights which serve to bring Mike, George, and a mortally-wounded Jack McCallister together. Having told each son half of the information needed to find the money, Jack dies, and the chasing and shooting begins anew. The remaining protagonists converge in a self-storage
warehouse in Coney Island, where George betrays Mike, only to be killed in a gunfight with both sets of corrupt cops. Mike, who was not involved in the shoot-out, finds the money as the film ends.
As a piece of entertainment, HANDGUN actually has very little going for it. This is true despite the fact that the filmmakers tried to stay within the bounds of believability, and despite the fact that the family interactions between the brothers and their father show a depth that can't be taken
for granted in today's low-budget, limited-release pictures. Moreover, the soundtrack--with its mix of classic R&B, 60's pop, and current radio hits--is enjoyable. But HANDGUN's biggest problem is that not only aren't there any "good guys" in this movie, there aren't even any sympathetic
Couple this with generally poor acting, and you basically end up with what HANDGUN is full of: characters as caricatures. This is especially true for the only women portrayed in the film--Laura (Anna Thomson), Jake's girlfriend, and Sally (Star Jasper), George's girlfriend. Both
shamefully-underutilized actresses are essentially in the film for (off-screen) sex that has little more to do with the plot than giving the director other locales (i.e., their apartments) to film fight scenes.(Violence, sexual situations, adult situations.)