Harry Potter Stars in ‘Guns Akimbo’

Well, Daniel Radcliffe, the man whose face we all think of when we say or hear the name ‘Harry Potter.’

‘Guns Akimbo’ looks like a fun meta-take on video games. I wonder if it is direct to video or whether there will be a video game released akin to the story-line…

Does anyone else feel an irony boundary has been crossed akin to the Gamesmakers being tasked with making film adaptations of The Hunger Games books?


  1. At first I really didn’t think there was much to talk about with the trailer above. For all intents and purposes, it appears to be nothing else except just one more mindless action flick, it’s just starring the person everyone will forever know as that guy who used to play Harry Potter.

    However, after giving it some thought, I began to wonder about the method to all the madness on screen. To start with, there is the basic setup itself. Looked at from the surface, it looks like empty spectacle. However, if you look at the ingredients that make up the narrative, then while it’s difficult to be sure, it is just possible that there may be (and that’s a big if) something like genuine food for thought tucked away somewhere in all that schlock aesthetics. It is also just a possibility that those themes or concepts might have a very ironic relation to the type of stories JKR likes to tell.

    The basic situation itself reads like a negative inversion of the situation Harry finds himself in. Rather than being the Chosen One, he’s much more the man-child in over his head, rather the boy who lived. This is enough to find himself getting shoved right into the middle of an adventure where the stakes are life or death. I wonder where I’ve seen or read that setup before?

    This sense of narrative familiarity does carry over to some extent with the dramatis persona. Radcliffe’s character is no hero, and yet he does wind up taking on a “psychopath” in a kind of underdog role. There are even several other facets to the figure which link him to Radcliffe’s most famous role. For one thing, there is a sense in which Miles does provide a snapshot of what would become of Harry if he (a) never had any magical powers whatsoever, and (b) if he’d grown up forced to live under the Dursley’s roof the whole time. In that sense, he really is an alternate version of Rowling’s creation.
    In addition to the main character, there is the second lead, played by Sam Weaving. Just like Miles, Nix comes off as the negative mirror image of Katniss. Think of it as what Kat would be like if she were raised by Snow to be the perfect, broken, yet ruthless killing machine, and you’ve more or less got Nix. Granted this is a version of the character operating under what I can only think of as Three Stooges logic. The whole premise, at least in part, seems to be when Harry met Katniss.

    It is even just possible to point to a genuine level of symbolism going on. For starters, though the gimmick of fastening guns to the characters hands has got to be one of the more Looney Tunes ideas I’ve ever heard, it’s handled in a way that suggests, incredibly, the idea of crucifixion. If you go back and pause to take a careful look at the setup contraption that he’s forced into, you discover that Miles has his hands literally driven through! If nothing else, it suggests the idea of at least an attempt at sainthood. Finally, there is one element that I can’t help regarding as a bit of informed shared textual reference. At one point in the trailer, we Weaving’s character don a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses. That’s sort of a Nabokov reference. In Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the novel, the title character is seen wearing glasses that are identical to those worn by Nix.
    It is this Nabokov allusion that gives me the most pause. It’s been pointed out on this very site that JK has encouraged Radcliffe to read “Lolita”, and the actor has acknowledged that he’s read Nabokov. He’s even gone so far as to say that “Pnin” is his favorite work by the author. This fact of Radcliffe’s VN fandom, and the presence of a “Lolita” shout-out in the story makes me wonder if that moment was the result of Radcliffe having some input into the nature of the story? If there’s possible truth to this, then what does it mean for a film billing itself as midnight movie?

    The best suggestion I can have is that there’s a bit of genre-aware satire involved with the whole thing. I said near the start that the whole scenario seemed like a negative inversion of Harry’s situation. It could be that’s the whole point. One possibility is that the director of this film is using his story to critique and parody Rowling’s narrative choices, while at the same time offering his own take on this kind of material. At least there’s one way that it “might” go. It would be interesting to know when or even if it’s going to get any kind of release, as I’m now curious enough to find out whether all these conjectures have any sort of merit to them.

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