Little inspiration here
Despite its sincere intentions to do otherwise, “Inspired Guns” lowers the bar for LDS-themed feature length comedies. Now 14 years old, “Singles Ward” had some flat moments but it was at least somewhat groundbreaking especially for its ability to poke fun at its own parochial market. Since then, it has been a rocky ride for the comedy genre.
Clearly, LDS-themed dramas like “The Best Two Years,” the “God’s Army” series and the recent “The Saratov Approach” have fared much better.
“Inspired Guns,” also designed for the LDS market assumes that audiences will laugh at the most ham-fisted, obvious jokes devoid of wit or originality. Even if a comedy is made for an 8 year old, it shouldn’t appear to be written by an 8 year old.
Though produced on a low budget, “Inspired Guns” has at least a couple of actors with noteworthy talent, and the technical crew knows their way around a camera.
Set in a non-descript metropolitan area (Chicago or New York?) Elder Fisher (A confidant, Ryan Reynolds-type David Lassetter) has only one week left on his mission when he is paired with a strange, Justin Bieber-loving hipster greenie Elder Johnson (Dashiell Wolf who could shine if given good material).
They get mixed up, naturally, with two mobster families and end up teaching two oversized goombas (Energetic Christian Busath, Jake Suazo) while trying to reach out to other converts – one of whom may be the investigator of Elder Fisher’s dreams. Along the way we are introduced to a host of racial stereotyped characters whose characterizations wouldn’t seem so offensive if they were at least a bit new, or heaven forbid, funny.
Director and writer Adam White no doubt put a lot of time and effort into this project but it is hard to imagine that a thorough test screening was used before this final cut. There is almost no action, and the humor here feels about as fresh as bad mayonnaise in a sandwich – a gag someone thought would be hilarious.
Independent films such as “Inspired Guns” have a tough road from concept to execution, and most movie critics are willing to give such films a lot of latitude. But even with a wide berth, these “Guns” fire mostly blanks and the recipe here is high on perspiration but low on inspiration.