Movies Reviews

Review | Between Kisses and Shots

Even the stodgy narration of the charming Billy Crudup has not managed to breathe life into the unnecessary mess that is "Die in a Gunfight"


We are used to seeing many adaptations of famous stories like Cinderella or The Lion King, as well as other classics like Romeo and Juliet. The new release of California Films bet on the classic Romeo and Juliet with a more up-to-date and mocking touch. It's a feature that mixes romance with action and a bit of comedy. The result seen on screen could have been better than what was delivered. The proposal is to be current, but it didn't work here.

The basic story for the feature is that of Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy written between 1591 and 1595, at the beginning of William Shakespeare's literary career, about two teenagers whose death ends up uniting their families, once at war. However, the production fit the classic story badly. We are introduced to the character Ben Gibbon, played by Diego Boneta (Mean Girls 2), who is a troubled boy who gets involved in unnecessary fights to prove he's an anarchist, an outlaw – sometimes it seems like it's just to affront the people around him. And the situation gets worse when Mary, played by Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson) is forced to go to boarding school in France. Like the problem boy, she's also off the charts and a misfit. Both from rich families, but misunderstood and forbidden to love each other due to the feud that exists between their parents.

Emmanuel Chriqui and Travis Fimmel play a couple who seem more like a collection of quirks meant to shock us than real people / California Films Reproduction

The feature's aesthetic is not bad and we can see that the feature mostly concentrates night scenes with the right to colored lights and delivers a nice effect. In addition, the plot mixes animated sequences with live action and is not a bad resource, but the editing didn't know how to tie the production, because the film has good scenes and good sequences, but its beginning is boring. Another detail that weighed a bit was the off-screen narration that could have been used in another way and used more sparingly is boring and tells more details than it should. Billy Crudup did a bad job as a narrator.

In Between Kisses and Shots, the performances are basic and none is that impressive. The duo of protagonists do not deliver their best roles and fall short in the chemical aspect. Because it's a forbidden love, it lacks passion, spark, lacks the will and the impetuous will to love, but they seem bored with each other. In addition, a love triangle was added involving the leading couple and the villain, which is ridiculous and even ridiculous. It's a lot of tension and screaming all the time and without a plausible justification to convince the viewer. The most bizarre scene is when he's at a club and gets beaten up by a guy who calls him a bunny. Frankly, right??? Ben's best friend Makul has a cool vibe, but underdeveloped and outspoken. Mary and Ben's parents are a team of goofs, women don't push themselves and men are blunt in every way. The soundtrack is also weak and doesn't move. 

Ben and Mary's Marriage Has a Tragic End / California Films Reproduction

More was expected from the production that could have deconstructed archaic values about what was presented in Shakespeare's original story. The script fails to sell the story that could have had a more harmonious and satisfying development. It's interesting to relive classic stories with a more up-to-date footprint, but the architectural ensemble of the work is a fiasco. By the way, the direction seems to have a fetish for split screen and uppercase letters, as it abused a lot of these tricks that didn't enrich the plot.

But if the goal is to watch something that doesn't make you think too much, just for the sake of having fun, it's a good option since it doesn't seek to discuss the subjects much. Something interesting that could have been developed is the issue of confidentiality of personal data, but the film inserted the subplot and then forgot about it. 

Directed by Colin Schiffli, Between Kisses and Shots, features Alexandra Daddario, Diego Boneta and Travis Fimmel, available on Claro Now, iTunes/Apple TV, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vivo Play and Sky Play platforms from November 12th.



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