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The Way of the Gun
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Genre:Thriller
Year:2000
Rating:R
Length:1 Hour 59 Minutes
Cast:Christopher Mcquarrie, Ryan Phillippe, Benicio del Toro, James Caan

Scriptwriter Christopher McQuarrie's directorial debut is a leaner, meaner cousin to The Usual Suspects (which he wrote). Two wandering nuts, Parker and Longbaugh (Ryan Phillippe and Benicio Del Toro, respectively) attempt to make a quick buck donating sperm, only to hear about an odd fertilization scheme involving Robin (Juliette Lewis), who is pregnant with an affluent couple's child. After snatching Robin from two bodyguards, they hold her for ransom and then wend their way toward Mexico and the payoff and/or standoff. While Suspects hinged on a hoary whodunit plot, Way of the Gun ups the ante on character discovery. As the violence escalates, McQuarrie mercilessly peels each relationship apart, revealing so much information that the unborn child begins to suggest Kiss Me Deadly's Great Whatsit. One of the delights of this film is seeing Del Toro chew his part slowly, with a mannered cool that makes it look like he's still digesting his character onscreen. The Way of the Gun also brims with film-buff references and virtuoso gunplay. If anyone wants to create a Sam Peckinpah Award for first-time directors, McQuarrie wins for 2000. Eddy Crouse

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