Gun Shy

Liam Neeson does a respectable turn in this wacky comedy about a DEA agent who’s having a nervous breakdown after an unfortunate turn of events during his last job. He’s very ably supported by Oliver Platt as his lunatic Mafia nemesis, Fulvio Nesstra. In fact, it’s Platt who has the best lines in the film and keeps this romp afloat – along with Mary McCormack as his ball-busting Mafia wife.

Neeson plays Charlie Mayough, a basket case whose emotional upsets are turning his stomach and colon into a gastrointestinal nightmare. All he wants to do is go on a permanent vacation but instead, he’s persuaded into taking one last assignment to deep-six Fulvio and a Colombian drug cartel leader named Fidel (Jose Zuniga) via a giant money-laundering scheme which also involves a big-mouth stock broker played by comedian Andrew Lauer.

As the stomach churns, Charlie seeks help so that he can function at his job. He goes to a doctor and gets a super enema from pretty nurse Judy (Sandra Bullock) who becomes an instant love interest while at the same time coaching him on how to eat and cope with his stress. He also joins a men’s psych group. Here he gets to lay out his whole life story and keep the average wimps entertained with his feats of daring-do. Believable? No. Funny? Yes.

Richard Schiff (wonderful on TV’s “The West Wing”) appears in the group as Elliot, an average Joe prone to violent candor. He snaps up every bit of Charlie’s details as a means to broadening his own life experiences.

Charlie juggles him time between Judy (seen occasionally), becoming Fulvio’s best buddy to control his whiplash temper and mentoring Fidel in the fine art of the deal. It’s a gas.

Sandra Bullock’s screen time is actually quite small, so don’t look for this as a Bullock vehicle. It’s largely a producing credit for her.

Lotta says
“Gun Shy” is pretty good thanks to clever dialogue and Oliver Platt.