Yet another memory to make me feel old. So, almost 20 years ago, I shared an apartment with 2 of my friends (there was a fourth person there but he doesn’t count). Now I used to spend the weekends with my girlfriend/fiance and when I came back one weekend, my friend Doug was telling me about this movie he had rented. His selling point was that Christopher Lambert was in it and went all Highlander on people with a baseball bat. Well, since he still had the movie I wound up watching it and was pretty entertained by it. Flash forward to about 10 years ago, and I was feeling bored while perusing movies online and saw this movie so, feeling a bit nostalgic, I decided to get it. So that is the story behind today’s movie, Mean Guns.
The plot: Vincent Moon, a representative for a crime syndicate, is playing a game of chess with Commissioner Guildner inside the security office for a newly built prison, which the syndicate funded and is scheduled to open in the morning. When Guildner beats Vincent in the game, Vincent shoots him. Elsewhere, a woman named Cam is trying to catch a train out of town when her handler meets her at the subway platform and asks for the photos. After she gives him one, he asks for the negatives but she says she has them stashed so he turns her over to a syndicate hitman named Marcus, who shoots the agent and then leaves with Cam. Marcus, along with several other members of the syndicate head to the prison, where they see several other members of the syndicate entering the prison. As they make their way into the prison, the various syndicate members are frisked and disarmed, (except for Marcus) and meet in the main room of the prison. When they are all assembled, Vincent tells the group that they have all betrayed the syndicate at one point or another and that the syndicate wanted to kill them all but Vincent convinced them to make a game out of it. Inside the prison is a suitcase filled with $10 million dollars, to be split three ways between the last three men standing. But to determine who those three are, there will be a free for all, with survival of the fittest being the only rule. After asking if there are any questions, Vincent has his men drop two tubs full of guns into the room and the criminals all grab them but find they are unloaded. Vincent’s men then drop tubs full of ammo and baseball bats into the room and the people begin grabbing for what the can get and start killing each other. Marcus pulls out his gun and goes to kill another hitman named Lou but finds that he has disappeared. He then notices Cam running off and goes after her. As the killers begin killing each other, Marcus catches up to Cam and meets up with D, a female associate, and they agree to work together to make it out alive. Meanwhile, Lou makes it outside to his car to check on Lucy, a little girl he started taking care of and is waiting in the car, and he kills some men that came outside and try to attack him. Back inside the prison, Marcus, D, and Cam look out the window and witness someone trying to escape before he is shot by snipers on the roof and realize that escape is impossible. Suddenly, Lou appears, holding D hostage, and they end up deciding to work together to kill everyone else, hoping that one of their party dies before the end. After having a couple of run ins with some more killers, Marcus decides that they should set a trap and D announces that they found the money and that she will be in the main room where they first started to try and finish killing everyone. While they are waiting for the other killers to show up, D starts getting anxious and accidentally fires a shot in Lou’s direction, who threatens to kill her over it. When people start arriving, it turns into a massive firefight and Cam chooses that opportunity to run. D tries killing her but she is out of bullets and finds herself getting attacked. Marcus gets knocked out but Lou saves him and then goes after Cam. At the same time, Hoss and Crow have partnered up with a woman named Barbie and they wind up shooting Bob, Barbie’s boyfriend. D leaves the room looking for Cam but Lou sneaks up behind her and kills her with a garotte. Hoss, Crow, and Barbie enter the room and think they are the only ones still alive but Vincent announces that there are still some people alive and decides to tell them where the money is. Marcus had come to at that point and heading outside, sees Lucy and takes her with him. They find the briefcase with the money and then leave the room it is in. Hoss, Crow, and Barbie enter the room and see the briefcase but before they can grab it, they are attacked by Bob, who hadn’t died, and are forced to kill him again. Hoss and Crow get in an argument about whether to give Barbie a gun when Crow notices Barbie pulling a gun on him. He fires, hitting Hoss, and Barbie shoots and kills him, then kills Hoss before grabbing the briefcase. As she goes to leave, the briefcase explodes, catching her head on fire and she slams her head through a locker and dies. Marcus and Lucy go back inside the room and after he checks to make sure they are all dead, they head back to the car, where they meet Cam, and Marcus and Cam head back inside, where he has Cam wait for him to make sure it is all clear. Vincent announces over the PA that there are only three people left and tells them to meet in the main room. Lou goes to check on Lucy and tells her they can leave soon unaware that Marcus is hiding behind the car and after he leaves, Lucy tells Marcus to kill Lou. When they all arrive in the main room. Vincent shows up and passes out guns to them all and it becomes apparent that only one of them will walk out alive. As Vincent starts counting down, Marcus shoots Cam, then points his gun at Lou, who seems surprised that his gun isn’t loaded. Vincent explains that Lou had become too dangerous and Marcus shoots him. Vincent and Marcus then prepare to draw on each other and Marcus proves faster and shoots Vincent. Hearing Lou laughing, Marcus heads over to him and Lou questions why Marcus killed his daughter and Marcus says he didn’t know it was Lou’s kid as it was just a job, revealing that the syndicate had hired him to kill Lou’s daughter. Marcus then kills himself and Lucy walks in the building and goes over to Cam, who was only shot in the shoulder, explaining that Marcus told her he was going to shoot her in the shoulder so she would live. As Cam and Lucy get in Lou’s car to leave, Lucy shows her the briefcase with the money, saying that Marcus said it was hers, then asks if Cam is going to be her new mommy and Cam says that she guess she is and they drive off.
A little slow, a little confusing, but otherwise a fairly enjoyable movie to watch. Christopher Lambert (Lou), Ice T (Vincent), and Michael Halsey (Marcus) were all good in their roles but I found Deborah Van Valkenburgh (Cam) to be pretty annoying. The plot wasn’t completely original but it was pretty good and did have a couple of twists that made it interesting, although things did get a little confusing at times. The action scenes were pretty good but since this was a made for TV movie, they couldn’t really show that much so a lot of the violence was done off camera. If this was a feature length movie, it might have been a lot better but for what it was, it is still a good way to kill some time on a lazy day.
Rating: 3 out of 5