Guns Akimbo (2020)

The Story

Miles is a nobody who codes for a crappy app game. His boss sucks, and his main friend is that kinda annoying guy from work. His life is generally awful, but he gets his kicks by being an online troll. One night, he insults the wrong people and they bolt guns to his hands and force him into their online murder game. It’s a game of kill or be killed, and Miles has 24 hours to figure out whether he’s survivor or just someone’s roadkill. (Keep scrolling way down to the end to get to the full story, in the section Story Spoiled!)

The Deets

Rating: R
Concerns: Drug Use, Brief Graphic Nudity, Pervasive Language, Sexual References, Strong Bloody Violence
Runtime: 1h 35m
Genre: Action, Comedy
Original Language: English
Release Date (US Theaters):   Limited

Main Cast

Daniel Radcliffe as Miles Lee Harris
Samara Weaving as Nix Degraves
Ned Dennehy as Riktor
Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Nova Alexander
Grant Bowler as Detective Degraves
Edwin Wright as Stanton
Rhys Darby as Glenjamin

Production & Crew

Distributor: Saban Films
Production Co: Maze Pictures, Occupant Entertainment, Ingenious Media, Altitude Film Entertainment
Director(s): Jason Howden
Producer(s): Tom Hern, Felipe Marino, Joe Neurauter
Writer(s): Jason Howden
Cinematography: Stefan Ciupek
Music: Enis Rotthoff
Editor: Luke Haigh, Zaz Montana
Hair/Makeup Lead: Sarah Rubano
Costumes: Sarah Howden


Here are some of the one-liners we thought would be great taglines while watching the movie. Production company, we’re waiting for our checks, paid to the order of Marketing Consultancy. Thank you kindly.

  • Never surrender.
  • When the shit goes down, ya better be ready.

Memorable Quotes

Miles: [Skizm is] The worst side of humanity on show, so the Internet fucking loved it.

Miles: In the real world I couldn’t hurt a fly. But behind these keys, I was the f’ing terminator.

Miles: Doesn’t matter. Just don’t shoot yourself in the dick. (missing the toilet with his new gun-hands)

Miles: Mom used to say “always wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident.” Add her to the list of the people I’ve let down.

Riktor (to Skizm’s video director): You couldn’t direct my cock into a tophat, you talentless piece of shit.

Homeless guy (to Miles)Just trying to be helpful, man.

Businessman on the street: Hey, why don’t you stop running Edward Gun-hands.

Nix: I’m no one’s lacky.

Miles: No responds, no one-ups, no extra lives. I just killed this f’ing guy.

Rikter (pretending to be scared for effect)Cops? Surrounding me? Oh my god. I think I’m going to do a poo-poo in my pantaloms. Who the f do you think owns the f’ing cops? 

Miles: Ah. Bulletproof vest. That did not help much.

Nix: Do you want to sit around and cry about it, like a little b1tch? Or do you want to go shoot a bunch of people in the face?

Nix: Friday night…just got…really lonely!

Stanton, the bad detective: I mean, look at you. You look like someone tried to paint a worn-out dildo with a f’ing Sharpie.

Riktor: We’re going to be the Starbucks of murder.

Beyond the Stars

There’s more to this movie than just Daniel Radcliff. So who are the people on screen that you know you’ve seen somewhere else? Let’s dig in…

Rhys Darby

The homeless guy who knows the proper way to shoot yourself in the face has a name, Glenjamin. If you don’t know his face from Flight of the Conchords or What We Do in the Shadows (among a long list of others), you might know his voice as Duncan on Bob’s Burgers and Kyle the Australian Panda on We Bare Bears. He’ll be in 2023’s Next Goal Wins, too.

Samara Weaving

This sexy Australian vixen has been showing up a lot lately. Her recent credits include Laura Crane in Scream VI (2023), Chevalier (2023), Olivia Allan in The Valet (2022)

What the Critics have said

Radcliffe looks like he is having the time of his life with this role, and it’s hard to not smile along with all of the carnage on the screen. … Guns Akimbo takes the monotony of life and shows us the what-if of it all. What if we stand up, what if we fight, what if the story isn’t important? Most importantly, what if we just want to have fun for ninety-five minutes?

Guns Akimbo (2020) | Film Review
In The Hollywood Outsider By John Davenport On 3/2/2020

A satire of overamped gamer culture that is itself too overamped to be much fun, “Guns Akimbo” takes a while before it stops showing off its virtuosity — shots that turn cartwheels, frantic cutting, an onslaught of graphics — and finds a groove.

‘Guns Akimbo’ Review: Put Down the Controller
In The New York Times By Ben Kenigsberg On 02/27/2020

So if you like sub-“RoboCop” sci-fi satires like “The Running Man” or “Gamer,” there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy “Guns Akimbo”‘s smart-ass humor and abundant violence.

Then again, you might be disappointed by “Guns Akimbo” if you expect humor or social criticism beyond the “South Park”-style observation that everybody is either unpleasant and/or delusional.

What makes it different from, let’s say a dud like The Last Days of American Crime, is it 100% assumes being divorced from reality. The best way I can describe it is is like Scott Pilgrim Vs The World meets John Wick. It comments on modern living from an outside perspective. It’s not trying to be one of the cool kids.

Movie Review : Guns Akimbo (2020)
In Dead End Follies By Benoît Lelièvre On 7/2/2020 (?)

Turns out sometimes all you need to unleash your inner rage is guns bolted to your hands, an insane killer after you and a murder game show behind you. Never has a dressing gown and slippers combo been so badass.

Guns Akimbo Review: Bolted On Madness
In Bombshells & Blueshells By Bonbshells&Blueshells On 10/08/2020

Anyone with an attention span above ADD levels, however, is likely to find this undeniably slick, energetic contraption plays somewhere between grating and numbing.

Toronto Film Review: ‘Guns Akimbo’
In Variety By Dennis Harvey On 09/13/2019

What might’ve been a delicately handled metaphor for the toxic nature of online discourse quickly devolves into a scatological, limp-wristed action flick that lacks any semblance of structure.

Review: Guns Akimbo
In Geeks Under Grace By Tyler Hummel On 7/30/2020

[Director Howden] appears to be going for the Neveldine/Taylor style of films like Crank and Gamer, except he’s not nearly as inventive and most of his flourishes outright distract from the action choreography, sometimes obscuring it altogether.

Review: Guns Akimbo Squanders a Nifty Setup with Excruciating Humor
In Slant Magazine By Steven Scaife On 2/24/2020

The camera has just spun 360 degrees around Daniel Radcliffe for what feels like the tenth time in 30 minutes and my mind, too, has been sent spinning—not because of the blazing neon lights, screwball editing or the preposterous plot—but at the realization that I’ve actually just spent $7 on a film that features a juiced-up techno-remix of “You Spin Me  Round,” by Dead or Alive.

Review: ‘Guns Akimbo,’ a neon-drenched nightmare
In The Columbia Chronicle By Simon Abrams On 2/19/2020

It almost feels like a close-cut mishmash of glorious ideas puts into a blender of gore, senseless fun and B-movie madness. 

The movie gets a lot of mileage from simply watching Miles trying to do mundane tasks like putting on clothes, making a call on his phone, going to the toilet – all while having guns bolted to his hands. No matter how long it drags on, Radcliffe makes sure his misadventures remain hilarious.

[TIFF Review] High Energy ‘Guns Akimbo’ Delivers Fun, Dumb Video Game Action
In Bloody Disgusting By Rafael Motamayor On 9/17/2019

Production Notes

Cinematography is fun with lots of dizzying rolls and pans that finally rest on random objects like hubcaps. 

The story is told primarily linearly, but at times details are skipped over and then shown in “rewind” clips to keep the audience unaware of twists and turns in the plot.

Filming took place on location and in-study in Auckland and Munich, which explains why almost all of the cast (sans British Daniel Radcliff) is from Down Under. Director Jason Lei Howden is also from New Zealand.

Leading up to the theatrical release, director Jason Holden got caught up in some online drama. Controversy ensued. Details here:

Reddit Reviews

Redditors are inherently toxic and mean, so let’s see what great stuff they’ve said about the movie. 

Who cares what professional critics think about a movie, let’s see what the average joes with toxic masculinity and hate have to say.

“Watching Daniel Radcliffe try to do normal stuff with guns bolted to his hands was hilarious.”

“Its a fun movie. Not too smart not to great at anything. But good old fashioned ridiculous fun”

“Jus watched it last night and found it pretty insane. I get that it was like a real life videogame but man, some of the camera work was nauseating!”

one of the worst films i have ever seen, not funny at all, treats the audience like they are moronic brain damaged children, the characters are cliche half baked cringe inducing “girls with attitude” type crap, entire thing is a lazy predictable mess

I didn’t like it at all. It felt like one of those movies that didn’t take it self seriously enough to be an actually good action movie but took it self seriously just enough to where it wasn’t all that funny either.

I thought it was a really really bad movie, real shit, it was trying so hard to be so many things at once and ended up being nothing. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn’t. It felt like it was made by a 12 year old for 12 year olds.

A goddamn masterpiece!!!

Good, not great. I realize the movie was sort of gesturing at some sort of social commentary about ‘gamer’ or ‘troll’ culture, but it didn’t really do it very well. Some review I read said that it didn’t hit the level of “Verhoven-esque” satire it was theoretically aiming for.

I thought it was a fun, entertaining film, and not too much beyond that. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine. Nothing wrong with making or enjoying a fun film.

It’s stupid, fun, and largely forgettable. I honestly don’t remember anything about it except the action scenes and Rhys Darby’s homeless guy.

Story Spoiled

Akimbo means to have your hands flung out widely or haphazardly, usually with the arms attached to the hips with elbows turned outward. And that’s how Miles finds himself in this action-comedy film.

Miles is a nobody who codes for a crappy app game. His boss sucks, and his main friend is that kinda annoying guy from work. His life is generally awful, but he gets his kicks by being an online troll. (In fairness, Miles believes himself to be trolling the trolls.)

One night, he decides to heckle viewers of Skizm, an organized crime group that live-streams death matches between criminals. This coder forgot to use a VPN or some other way to mask his IP address. Oops. Yep, Miles’ crappy life is going to quickly get worse.

Skizm’s leader Riktor quickly tracks Miles down. Leader of a cybermurder squad, he looks like Voldermort with really bad face tattoos. He barges into Miles’ apartment with his thugs, and they bolt a gun to each of his hand. It’s like Edward Scissorhands, but with bullets. “Edward Gunhands” as one a-hole businessman on the street later calls Miles.

For this death match, Riktor pits Miles against Nix, the deadliest killer in the game. Miles has 24 hours to kill her. There are other rules, but that one is most important.

It’s a good thing that Miles sets up a date with his ex, Nola, the night before it all goes down. He now has at least someone to call for help.

Nix is introduced in a drug-rage induced montage, where she shoots up a roomful of bad boys in order to get her hands on some new toys that go bang-bang. The police are on to her, and they’re just seconds too late to catch her in this scene. Their manhunt continues.

Really, though, Nix wants outs. Skizm HQ texts her to this battle with Miles is her last. She moves around the police station in a fake mustache and pilfered uniform to get in a computer and search for Miles’ deets. When she arrives at his apartment, she still has a rolled-up dollar bill hanging from her nose. Child’s play, really.  

After Miles escapes Nix, he’s left to roam the city in his bathrobe and oversized tiger flippers. The alternate near future city is full of fresh and bright graffiti, and there are surveillance cameras everywhere that Skizm has full access to. And he has lots of drones. Viewers catch all the action from a livestream, produced from Skizm’s lair in a dark, sketchy warehouse.

Once Riktor realizes that Nix isn’t doing her job, he sends other baddies from his crew to kill whoever necessary. In one scene, badass Effie faces off with Nix and Miles. Nix instantly recognizes Effie’s automatic weapon of choice and in true lady fashion, compliments it like it’s a pair of shoes or a haircut. One the niceties are over, pew, pew, pew. Nix gets some shots in, but she and Miles are mostly dodging the ones from Effie’s AR. Most bullets miss their targets, and our main characters are able to flee the scene. The ladies in this movie bring a new meaning to “point and shoot.”

‘m running short on time here, so…well…Nix and Miles team up, Nix dies, Miles kills Riktor just before he lets the cat out of the bag. Skizm’s gone global, and there’s no stopping it. And now Miles has the new life mission of hunting down all the other online criminals, and he’s going to look sexy doing it in his suit and no guns akimbo.

It’s unlikely there will be a sequel, seeing as this movie didn’t earn and Daniel Radcliff isn’t into never-ending sequals after giving his childhood to Harry Potter and all. Let’s hope the fan fiction fills that void.

Stuff We Noticed

The movie is set in the town of Shrapnel. When Nix is at the Shrapnel City Police Department, we see Miles’ phone number having the area code 215, which is for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

When Nix uses the computer at the police department, we see a small announcement on the computer screen. It looks very 21 Jump Street with two cops standing in front of a graffiti’d brick wall with “Crime is for Losers” as the headline. The notice reads: Calling on all staff to participate in our fresh new rap song to educate kids about the dangers of drugs and e-sports. Sign up”

The movie seemingly takes place in the US, but Miles’ height is listed as 1.65 M.

Miles’ address is 12G/303 Kildeer Street, Westmont, Shrapnel City.

His phone number is listed as 555-328-2888, but Nix enters the phone number 215-555-0199 into the tracking program.

Another announcement also shows on the screen: Stamp out Corruption! is the headline. The notice reads: Public perception is at an all time low. Do you r part to fight corruption and report anonymously.

Nix’s neck tattoo reads “If you can see this your too close.” (Yes, “your”.)

Nix backs down in fear in a warehouse while shooting at Miles. In a conversation with Miles, Detective X reveals Nix is his daughter. Rikter had been arrested by the detcctive, and he sought revenge by trying to burn his family alive in their car. The detective was able to save Nix, but she was never the same afterwards. Nix finally dies in the movie by being shot, and she is shown being enveloped in (CGI) flames.

Early in the movie, the camera focuses on Nix’s hands to show her heavy skull ring. At the end of the movie, the camera focuses on Miles’ hand, and he now is wearing the ring.

Coulda, Shoulda, but Didn’t

The movie could have reasonably ended a few times. I mean, Miles could have just ordered a pizza and turned on Hulu instead of trolling people who like to watch murders. But story-wise, at 00:22:00, Miles hits the remote control so the TV blares gunshots. Nix instinctively shoots the TV with her own automatic. Miles could have used this instance to stand up and shoot Nix without her expecting it. But instead, he screams and jumps through his closed window onto the fire escape and then slides down those awful stairs. Idiot.