Movie Review - Hot Guys With Guns

Marc Anthony Samuel (left) and
Brian McArdle in "Hot Guys With Guns"
Doug Spearman (Noah's Arc) has written and directed his first feature film. Instead of just romantic comedy, Spearman has ventured more toward action and crime drama. Spearman has compared this effort to Lethal Weapon, written by Shane Black. It's never quite as lethal as Lethal Weapon. Spearman's film could also draw lines to Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Except, it's rather light on the "kiss kiss." For example, the two main characters never lock lips, despite both being gay and having feelings for each other. It's funny because on Spearman's TV show Noah's Arc, there was a story in Season 2, Episode 3, about his friend pitching a movie idea not unlike the one here to Rockmond Dunbar, an actor in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Marc Anthony Samuel (General Hospital) stars as Danny Lohman, a black waiter in a fancy restaurant in Los Angeles but who goes out on acting auditions. Five months ago, he broke up with Patrick Armstrong or Pip, played by Brian McArdle, a spoiled white son of a wealthy widower named Patricia, played by Joan Ryan, whose drug-addled, gun-toting persona is just as horny as her son's. Danny still has feelings for Pip, but Pip is currently dating a tall, fair-haired actor/model named Robin, played by Trey McCurley.

To prepare for a movie role, Danny takes a private detective class, taught by an old, former gumshoe named Jimmy, played by Alan Blumenfeld. When Pip is robbed of his car and his wristwatch at a sex party, he pushes Danny to use his amateur skills to solve the case. Danny reluctantly does so, but not long after he learns that other gay sex parties have been robbed.

Since the movie doesn't have actual gay cops as the protagonists, it feels a little reductive and doesn't fully live up to the promise or potential hinted in that Noah's Arc episode. You'd almost be better served watching an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, except on that FOX series, you'd never get as much well-muscled, naked men walking around as you do here, particularly in the movie's opening. Yet, the movie doesn't have the propulsion of a typical crime drama or even that FOX crime comedy. It meanders a bit.

A lot of time is dedicated to Pip and his mom, but then nothing comes of their relationship in the latter half of the movie. There's tension early on between Pip's mom and Danny, but there's no resolution to her snobbish and dismissive attitude toward the waiter-turned-aspiring-actor-turned-private-eye who somehow drives a Mustang convertible. Danny has these fantasies that don't go anywhere. They're pretty random, which is fine but there's no payoff, meaning like Pip's mom, the fantasies are present in the earlier part of the film but then practically disappear in the latter half, never to be revisited again.

Hot Guys With Guns seems to be a watered down version of Ron Oliver's Third Man Out. That TV movie starred Chad Allen as an openly gay detective, and it does everything Spearman is trying to here, only with more energy, confidence, higher stakes and boldness. This makes sense because Oliver had a lot of directing experience under his belt when he made that movie in 2005 whereas Spearman was still acting in Noah's Arc. Being Spearman's debut, Hot Guys With Guns feels like him dipping his toe in the water. Keeping with that analogy, this movie makes for a fun time in the pool, and there's potential though that his next feature could be a real splash.

Three Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but recommended for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 50 mins.


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