Die in a Gunfight Parent Guide
Sometimes the heavily stylized direction makes this movie feel more indie; other times it just feels sloppy.
Parent Movie Review
Two families, the Rathcarts and the Gibbons, have been in a blood feud since a duel between their ancestors in 1864. In the 21st century, both families control massive media empires, and spend most of their time and column inches trying to sabotage one another.
The younger generation is breaking with their families’ traditions. Ben Gibbon (Diego Boneta) and Mary Rathcart (Alexandra Daddario) have fallen in love. But Ben isn’t the only person vying for Mary’s affections – Terrence (Justin Chatwin), an employee of Mary’s father, has decided that he deserves her hand, and is willing to do just about anything to get it. Now, all Ben and Mary have to do is get married…without becoming the latest victims in their families’ blood feud.
Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair…Toronto? I’m not sure if this is supposed to be some big American city, but it’s pretty clearly Toronto. Either way, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Toronto or Verona, this is a modernized take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. So what has director Colin Schiffli done differently in this adaptation?
Well, a lot. Die in a Gunfight only has loose structural ties to the play, and a whole lot less teenage angst and misunderstanding. There are also far fewer characters: Benvolio and Mercutio have been loosely combined in Mukul (Wade Allain-Marcus), a friend of Ben’s. Terrence is a weird cross between Count Paris and Tybalt. There’s no sign of Friar Laurence, Rosaline, or Nurse. Honestly, the trimmed down dramatis personae helps in a 90-minute movie. When you don’t have two and a half hours to lay your scene, you’ve gotta make cuts somewhere.
Die in a Gunfight isn’t a terrible film, but it’s not a particularly good one either. It’s been very heavily stylized, complete with a narrator, animated flashbacks, and over-the-top film grain effects on some scenes. Sometimes this makes the film feel a little more indie, other times it just makes it feel sloppy. The writing isn’t anything to write home about, and the performances are unremarkable. This is the dry toast of adaptations. It’s not awful, but it sure could have used something a little more interesting to top it up.
As you may have noticed, the movie carries an R-rating from the MPAA, meaning it’s a poor study guide for high-school students looking for a shortcut on their Romeo and Juliet assignment. Differences from the play which may concern parents include extensive drug use and some swearing. To the film’s credit, there’s less profanity than I would have expected –21 sexual expletives are a relatively small complement for a crime film. That may sound like a lot to you, but trust me, it gets a whole lot worse than that in quirky thrillers these days. There are also some scenes of brief, bloody violence, but as Shakespeare himself wrote “These violent delights have violent ends.” Whether or not you find it “delightful” is a matter of taste. I’m not making any promises.Directed by Colin Schiffli. Starring Diego Boneta, Alexandra Daddario, and Justin Chatwin. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release July 16, 2021. Updated July 16, 2021
Watch the trailer for Die in a Gunfight
Die in a Gunfight
Rating & Content Info
Why is Die in a Gunfight rated R? Die in a Gunfight is rated R by the MPAA for violence, language and drug use.
Violence: Individuals are severely beaten and shot. An individual is shown attempting suicide unsuccessfully.
Sexual Content: A couple are shown kissing passionately and undressing in bed, but no sexual activity or nudity is seen.
Profanity: There are 21 extreme profanities, 4 scatological curses, and occasional uses of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking, smoking both tobacco and marijuana, and using cocaine.
Page last updated July 16, 2021
Die in a Gunfight Parents' Guide
Why do people get trapped in feuds? What prevents them from moving forward? Have you ever been stuck with feelings of anger and resentment? What helps you move past them?
Related home video titles:
If you like quirky stylistic movies shot in Toronto, you might enjoy Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. If offbeat romantic crime flicks are more your thing, options include Baby Driver, Pixie, and on the less comedic side, Queen and Slim. Modernized adaptations of Shakespeare include Romeo + Juliet, Little Italy, Warm Bodies, Clueless, Ten Things I Hate About You, and the truly terrible Amanda Bynes vehicle She’s The Man.