Gun Crazy is a very appropriate title for this film. It shows how you can quickly be dragged over to the dark side when you become reliant on your gun too much. The main guy started as someone who just enjoyed his hobby and had a good time but by the end that’s no longer the case. Unfortunately I would say he wasn’t the most stable guy from the jump anyway with how the film shows him murdering a bird. Even though he stops murdering after that it was a very bad look for him. It’s hard to really rebound from something like that.
The movie starts with Bart stealing a gun and he’s taken to court. Some people say he’s dangerous but his friends stick up for him and ultimately he gets to stay free. Years pass by and he goes on adventures but eventually he goes back home and meets a traveling gunwoman named Laurie. She’s exceptional with a gun and has defeated everyone prior but Bart defeats her much to the happiness of the crowd. They then get together and everything looks like it’ll be just fine until she shows her true colors. Laurie wants to live a very fancy lifestyle at any cost and because Bart doesn’t make enough she wants to start robbing banks and stealing money from people. This is where Bart needed to very quickly shut this idea down completely. Laurie says that she will leave him if he doesn’t become a crook with her and he folds. Can he convince her to stop?
I can answer that right now, he can’t. Look if someone wants to be a criminal then there is very little that you can do to stop them. A person needs to absolutely not want to be a criminal and then you can throw attacks on him. The problem here really gets serious when the criminal enjoys the life of crime because at that point we’re really talking about a psycho who can’t be stopped. Laurie is very open about the fact that she loves using a gun and being as rich as possible. Her personality doesn’t change and in fact seems to get worse and worse the more they talk. Any ideas Bart may have had of fixing her were just dreams at this point.
Hey that’s just who she is, but his tolerating this and going alongside it makes him just as guilty. I don’t care how many times he said this was a bad idea or that they shouldn’t do it, he still went along for the ride. You can’t have it both ways and he really made his choice here. It was inevitable that things would continue to get worse and Bart has to own that. No excuses and no double talk, he is a criminal too and so you’re rooting to Bart and Laurie to be taken down by the cops as soon as possible.
Bart even chooses Laurie over his childhood friends Dave and Clyde who stuck up for him through thick and thin in the court room. It was a shame that he was so quick to point his gun at them as well. They were good friends and even tried to plead with him one last time even if it was no use. I don’t think there are very many friends who would have been willing to stick their necks out like that but these did. They didn’t even bring their guns to the confrontation to help their odds but it was no use.
Bart was just too far gone and he was also gullible as Laurie would always manipulate him by saying exactly what he wanted to hear. You just have to take a stand at some point because deciding not to just makes you look really bad. Well, I’ve bashed this guy enough. It goes without saying that the same issues are present with Laurie but at least she isn’t hesitant about the whole thing. At the end of the day if you’re a villain then you’re a villain, it’s better not to be complaining about it. It’s a shame that she was able to drag him so far into the criminal world though.
The film definitely should have cut out the scene of Bart shooting the bird too though. It doesn’t add anything to the film and actually hurts the message. It may be the reason why he doesn’t shoot animals anymore but the reasoning would have been even better if he had never murdered a bird before. That’s exactly how I would have handled it and it would have made the main character a bit more salvageable. A bit more mind you as he would still look pretty bad late on. It wouldn’t be as bad at least.
It is always interesting when you watch a film where you are rooting for the main characters to lose the whole time. I think it can absolutely work but I would say that it is a bit tougher to achieve than a classic hero. You have to balance things right where you still see the real heroes take down the main characters at some point or make sure the leads don’t go too far in being unbearable to everyone because if the tone gets too malicious or annoying then that wouldn’t be good.
In this case the main characters weren’t likable in the slightest so you’re really rooting for them to lose but a bit more balance could have been nice. Maybe if they’re going to be crooks anyway, have Bart keep Laurie from taking her gun so they’re still robbing people but it’s a slight concession. He’s at least making sure nobody gets hurt. You could have had Laurie lie to him and still bring her gun but it would make Bart have a little bit of a backbone there and then I could say with a straight face that he actually did something as opposed to just getting pressured into making all the wrong calls all the time.
Overall, Gun Crazy is an interesting film about why you should always be careful about who you pick to be your girlfriend. Make sure that you are choosing someone whose morals align with your own and that if you did make a mistake you stay true to your ideals to the very end. The instant you concede on that is a moment where you have lost yourself and it can be very hard to get back to where you were. There are things you can never take back and murdering someone is absolutely one of them. Bart would do everything Laurie would say and that’s not the basis for a good relationship. In the end I would say to give this one a skip. At the end of the day you want a film with a better lead and this one just doesn’t have a whole lot of great qualities to bring to the table.