EVIL’s a Face-Off to the Death! “Guns Akimbo” reviewed! (Saban Films / Screener)


Miles, a thirtysomething video game developer, remains stuck in an unfulfilling and lonely existence where being an internet troll gives him his only taste of dominance over those who normally succeed above him in all other life aspects. When he pokes and prods a popular and sadistic underground death match known as Schism, the virally trending sensation sweeping the internet nation comes knocking at his apartment door to officially install him into the next melee bout. With guns crudely surgically bolted to both hands, Miles, whose used to running from just about everything, now has to nut up against Schism’s most prolific killer, Nix, and save his kidnapped ex-girlfriend from the deviants behind the game.

Social commentary runs amok in this grisly balls to the wall, gunplay stimulating action-comedy, “Guns Akimbo,” from the New Zealander, “Deathgasm” writer-director Jason Lei Howden. Trading in doom metal horror for a crass bullet ruckus, Howden barrels down with an on fleek supercharged story like a runaway freight train or a 6,000 round per minute minigun, shredding through a high body count like in a high occupancy round of a first person shooter. Under the production wing of Occupant Entertainment and distributed by Saban Films, who released films such as “The Girl with All the Gifts” and Rob Zombie’s “31” and “3 From Hell”, “Guns Akimbo’s” edgy dystopian air gangling along nerdy humor scraps “Robocop” utilitarian veneer for a fresh coat of millennial trivialities, fleshing out, in a ream of firepower, relevant societal topics and facing their adversarial shades head on in a barrage of blood soaked bullets.

Spearheading “Guns Akimbo” is Daniel Radcliffe, who seemingly continues to distance himself from the world of wizardry of “Harry Potter” and focusing his current career on off-Hollywood and chic films that has gained Radcliffe a cult following alongside his cache of wizards and witches fandom. Feeling content stagnant, Miles lounges comfortably in the power of being a keyboard warrior and Radcliffe leads the non-exuberant charge until pushes comes to guns bolted to my and someone is trying to kill me-shove. Opposite Radcliffe is Samara Weaving as a brashly confident and hard-hitting character of familiar skin that’s similar to her Melanie Cross role in Joe Lynch’s “Mayhem.” Instead of being a mild-mannered woman infected to be a savage, floor-clearing combat artist, Weaving bares no dissuasion embodying another uncaged killer becoming the nitty-gritty, tattooed, and uncouth Nix, hard-nosed with violent tendencies stemmed by the fiery murder of her family. Together, Weaving and Radcliffe make engaging adversaries and friendlies who both end up on working on themselves while working with each other in a do-or-die game. Ned Dennehy plays the creator of Schism and overall bad guy Riktor. The Irish actor, who recently had a role in Nicholas Cage’s “Mandy,” finds himself just as tatted up as Nix, waving a nihilistic-revolutionist banner like its something to be proud of, but despite Dennehy’s best efforts in alleviating his cynical nature with a few sarcastic quips, Riktor comes off as bland and unfulfilled as a story’s aortic villain; instead, I found myself more curious about his fascinating short-lived henchmen played by Mark Rowley as a Zangief Street Fighter doppelganger, Racheal Ofori shelling out with double barrels, and Set Sjöstrand as a gimp mask wearing Fuckface. The international cast rounds out with Natasha Liu Bordizzo (“Hotel Mumbai”), a once in a lifetime hilarious homeless man act by funny man Rhys Darby, Grant Bowler, and Edwin Wright (“Turbo Kid”).

“Guns Akimbo” could have been pulled straight from the crimson flashy illustrated pages of a popular graphic novel and, most definitely, would have worked as one too, soon to come for sure, but as a feature film is concerned, as fun as Howden drapers it with explosions, expletives, and executions, “Guns Akimbo” ultimately shakes at the knees with acute breakneck, 24-hour speed that clocks in at a 95 minute runtime. While that’s the standard runtime of choice for movies, average around 90 to 100 minutes, consequences from flying through backstories (Miles, Schism, Riktor, Nix) in a blink of an eye at the story’s expense to hastily push for gun blazing glory puts all the pressure on the viewer to keep up. The story’s non-linear moments also factor into being an onerous barrier for audiences which are shiplapped together egregiously just for the sake of going against the atypical plot structure design and interspersed with flash backs and wishful thinking near death pipe dreams all jam and crammed packed into the sardine can that is the very eye-candy combat of “Guns Akimbo.” Yet, enough time was mustered for symbolism where Miles finds himself ensnared in the sticky negativity that is the social media sludge, fueled by the sadistic voyeurs enjoying the show in a violence-porn tapestry. From troll to titan, Miles rises as the unlikely gladiator presence in Schism, pushing him toward being a viral sensation from which he can’t escape despite the lack of enthusiasm to anything related to Schism and his skyrocketing social media status. The whole showdown thrusts him into controlling his own life whether he likes it or not, a kick in the ass for a lack of a better phrase, to get him motivated.

Come February 28th, Saban Films’ “Gun Akimbo,” produced by Occupant Films’ Joe Neurauter, Felipe Marino, and New Zealand film producer Tom Hern, will go full blown trigger happy into select theaters, on demand, and on digital. Since this movie is yet to be officially released, is a screener, and doesn’t have a home video release just quite yet, there will be no audio and video critique portion of this review nor were there bonus material. There have been many great dual wielding action heros in our lifetime, including John Weston from “Equilibrium,” Selene from “Underworld,” and even that Counter-Strike terrorist avatar with the option to wield Dual Berettas. Now, we have Miles from “Guns Akimbo,” an immense ball of New Zealand vitality, un-tapered exploitation, and twofold in gun fun.

Pre-Order “Guns Akimbo” on Amazon Prime!

Evil Review: Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies

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Oh Counter-Strike, what can I say about this kick ass game series? It is the first tactical shooter I have ever played, I’ve played each Counter-Strike entry and loved each one. Now what we have here is Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies. CSNZ is a new free to play Counter-Strike game on Steam which is pretty much a zombie version of Counter-Strike Online, which is also a free to play Counter-Strike made by the same team.

Counter-Strike zombies was first released on September 23 as a beta and lets just say the beta was a complete failure. The game’s servers would not let people log in and the hack shield program that comes with the game was keeping people from playing, which this issue was happening to me. The developers saw this issue and later patched it, which is good I praise them for responding to my complaint as quick as they did. After the beta the game was finally released on October 7 to mixed reviews, mostly negative. Now are these negative reviews accurate of the game? Some are but most negative reviews are from people who barely touched the game and hate on it for the simple fact that it had a bad beta. So now I will go on and talk about this game and what I personally think.

The game’s requirements are great, anyone can play this game on any computer, which of course is common because pretty much all Counter-Strike games don’t require much so the download of the game and requirements won’t be much. When you load the game you’ll noticed that the menu is locked at a certain resolution and you cannot change it. You can however change it to widescreen in the options but this only takes effect if you are in a server playing. Hopefully they will patch this later on. When you search for a game you are met with four different game modes; Zombie Hero, Zombie Scenario, Zombie Escape, and Zombie Shelter. Each mode has different variations and even includes basic Counter-Strike game modes like hostage rescue, bomb defusing etc. As for right now I cannot recommend the zombie pvp game modes like zombie hero. It can be completely one sided and what I mean by this is if you are on the zombies team then good luck on winning because for humans, their team can just buy a machine gun, a bunch of ammo and just hold off in a corner. Reason for this is because if you are a zombie and you get shot at, you are immediately stopped in your tracks. So say if the humans are all using machine guns then you will not be going any where and lose. So for right now I would stay away from the pvp modes and move on to the pve modes which are more fun, like Zombie scenario which is my personal favorite. In zombie scenario you are grouped with a team of humans and you must fight through waves of zombies to reach different locations and eventually the boss. This game mode gets very chaotic and very fun, especially if your playing with friends.

Each game mode rewards players with points and loot crates which all can be used to craft weapons, ammo, or special items and even purchase weapons in the store. Now most people who can complain about this game always bring up a ”pay-to-win” excuse for saying the game is bad, which this isn’t true. After hours of playing I have noticed that the game does not try to force you to pay real money for things. In the store there are weapon packs you can buy for $1.99 each, but why is this an issue? You have all these game modes that offer both pvp and pve, so I don’t see the reason in the ”pay-to-win” argument. Not to mention this is again a free-to-play game, so the developers have to make money off it some how correct? Now for performance wise, the game has a few problems. So far I haven’t noticed any crashes or anything but I have noticed small glitches like invisible zombies attacking you out of no where, and some minor lag during games but nothing big.

Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies is a unique game and I had fun playing it so my rating for it has to be a middle 6/10. It’s a quite decent and very fun free to play game which I think is worth checking out. So you are on Steam and your bored or broke then go ahead and give it a try.