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Gunless
December 6, 2010
Rated PG

Director: William Phillips Cast: Paul Gross, Sienna Guillory, Callum Keith Rennie, Dustin Milligan, Graham Greene Run Time: 89 minutes
Country: Canada Year: 2010 Language: English

In his first role since 2008's Passchendaele, Paul Gross returns to the screen in Gunless, a rambunctious Western-Comedy with a decidedly Canadian spin.

It's the 1880's and hardened American gunslinger The Montana Kid (Gross) arrives in Barclay's Brush (population 29), a dusty hamlet in the "Dominion of Canada." On the run from bounty hunters, he's barely made it across the border, strapped to his trusty steed and clutching a six-shooter. Unaccustomed to Canadian hospitality, The Kid immediately gets into an unfortunate altercation with Jack Smith (Tyler Mane), the town's surly blacksmith, whose offer of assistance to the Kid's horse leads to The Kid 'calling him out' for some good old frontier justice – a showdown. But in a place totally ill prepared to deal with a classic gun fight and without a single working pistol to be found, The Kid quickly discovers that adhering to the code of the American Wild West may prove difficult.

Writer/Director William Philips (Foolproof, Treed Murray) gleefully lampoons the perceived cultural differences between Canadians and our neighbours to the south: whether it's the notion of a shop co-run by squabbling French and Anglo merchants, 19th-century universal health care (where the local doctor will remove a shot-up patient's first bullet for free), or the many reminders that we're just not folks who fuss and fight. However, the film belongs to Gross, who makes the most of his close-ups with fine comic timing and a drawl that pays homage to his hero Clint Eastwood.

Beautifully shot in Osoyoos, BC, and featuring an amazing soundtrack by Blue Rodeo, Gunless aims for the funny bone. Here, the brutal code of the American Wild West runs headlong into the very Canadian notion of peace, order and good government.

"Gunless takes the hoary old template of the gunfighter movie and gives it an utterly Canadian spin based on our comfort myth of niceness." - Jim Slotek, Jam Movies

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