Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: INSPIRED GUNS is Hit and Miss, But Clean Comedy


With dramas like The Saratov Approach and Ephraim’s Rescue dominating the landscape of Mormon cinema recently, it seems like ages since we’ve had a good LDS comedy. Enter Inspired Guns, a tale that finds two moronic mafia brothers (Christian Busath and Jake Suazo) confusing two missionaries for members of “the family.” Soon the rest of the mob are involved, along with the FBI, as similarities between Mormon and mafia lingo leads to all sorts of confusion. Meanwhile, the Elders are having issues of their own, as senior companion Elder Fisher (David Lassiter) struggles to deal with his rap-loving greenie companion (Dashiel Wolf).

The film, written and directed by Adam White, leans perhaps a bit too heavily on broad characterizations and ethnic stereotypes for its comedy, but that’s not to say there aren’t some inspired moments of humor. The cast are clearly enjoying themselves, especially Busath and Suazo, while Rick Macy (as a mob kingpin) and Charan Prabhakar (as a duplicitous salesman) steal every scene they’re in.

David Skousen’s cinematography and Stephen Anderson’s musical score give the film a professional gloss. Though White’s screenplay could have used more polish (some of the jokes are real groaners and a few dramatic scenes feel forced), the story has a surprisingly satisfying payoff, on both a comedic and a spiritual level. Fans of LDS comedies such as The Singles’ Ward, The RM, and Mobsters and Mormons will find much to like here. What’s more, you can bring the whole family.

CONTENT OVERVIEW: Inspired Guns is rated PG. There is no language or sexuality. A character is shot in the shoulder while others are punched by mob thugs trying to get information, but there’s not a terrible amount of menace to these scenes.

MESSAGES TO DISCUSS:We should remember that bearing a heartfelt testimony is only a beginning. We need to bear testimony, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to live it. We need to both declare and live our testimonies.” – Elder David A. Bednar

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