Thursday, April 09, 2009

4/8/09: Handgun (1983)

A couple of years ago, I saw a movie called The Brave One, starring Jodie Foster. A passably enjoyable drama about a woman who's out for revenge after a brutal attack, it reminded me vaguely of Death Wish. Reading the reviews of the Foster movie, though, it was obvious that it more strongly resembled a little-known film from 1983 called Handgun, whose plot it closely mirrors. So I picked up the DVD to compare and contrast the two, and am just now getting around to doing that.

Turns out that The Brave One is far superior, thanks to a script, performances and production values that are immeasurably higher. In Handgun (also known as Deep in the Heart), a young woman dates a guy who rapes her at gunpoint. Understandably freaked, she becomes consumed with turning the tables on her attacker. The film chronicles her slow—and I do mean slow—descent from affable and easy-going to deeply troubled and dispirited. The movie suffers from a shoestring budget and an overly simplistic, suspense-free script, although actress Karen Young does manage to keep us at least mildly interested in her character, Kathleen. Overall, though, the movie is a snooze. Rating: 2/5.

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