26 October 2011 | mthomas011
To explain anything in this movie would be to deprive you the most zig- zagging movie this side of MEMENTO, but I'll try:
The movie opens to the sound of gunfire, and a lone man walks of a hangar, holding a suitcase. He returns to the house he was living in and finds a woman in the bed, tied to the bedposts.
Flash back a week, and we see Mickey Lewis (Steven Man) running into Katrina Webb (Katherine Randolph) with a shopping cart. The two strike up a conversation. Turns out, Mickey is an artist, and Katrina needs a painter - for her house. They meet Arthur (Steven Bauer) , the husband, who is leaving for a business trip. The two pair up, then discuss their future which involves leaving her husband and robbing him through their conspiracy. But it seems that the whole set-up WAS a set-up, and through double cross and triple cross and all other types of crosses, Mickey ends up shooting Katrina. Good, solid, pulpy fun.
But then, the movie takes a wild turn on the far side of crazy that involves a bar and hotel in the middle of nowhere, a mysterious stranger, and something that is representative of the Three Fates, with the woman-child, the fiery Latino, and the mature matriarch. Throw in fits of unexplainable migraines and extreme claustrophobia, and you've got a ride that keeps you guessing until the very end - the very, VERY end.
Now? Okay - Roll Credits
1 in the GUN is really four movies. It starts off as a trashy romance novel, full of intrigue, lust and forbidden love, with a touch of Grindhouse-like violence (take notice of the obviously fake blood used in this part), then veers off into the Twilight Zone for a surreal trip on the wild side, then makes some revelations that reveal truths about the beginning of the movie, and ends with a realization that everything was a lie. You get four versions of the same story, told by the same person. Each story has a version of the truth, and frankly you're not really sure if the final truth is the Absolute Truth (so help me, God).
Steven Man is pivotal as the artist-turned-house painter-turned- murderer-turned-gumshoe. His transitions through the four phases of the movie takes you on a just as a confused journey as he experiences. His ascent into Truth is as much as a revelation and a surprise as any movie I've seen recently. Katherine Randolph is picture perfect as the femme fatale, both enticing and conning Mickey into her elaborate trap. The entire story revolves around their interactions, both real, imagined, perceived and revealed. As the story progresses, Mickey learns that he knows nothing, and the events surrounding him creates his reality. Robert Davi lends his talents as Vinny, a stranger who befriends Mickey at the bar in the middle of nowhere. There cannot be more said without revealing any (and all) of the surprises, as the story twists and turns more times than the Magic Mountain Roller Coaster, but I can assure you, this ain't no joyride.
On my personal rating scale of with "5" being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie should get a solid "4.5," using my patented Bell-Curve for B-Movies. 1 in the GUN is a poor title of the movie, but like the movie itself, it's significance is explained throughout. It's a movie you have to watch from beginning to end, because the story has so many "What The F***" moments, that if you came in the middle of the movie, you would be as lost as Mickey was as he transitioned from story to story. Everything is explained, but nothing will make sense unless you've seen the other vignettes. This movie is a definite "Buy," because even after the truth is revealed (sorta), you'll want to go back and see how the truth fits in the other scenes.