I can’t even tell you the name because my wife reads this column and she’ll immediately ask me why I didn’t tell her I was writing about The Movie That Shall Not
Be Named without telling her first. It’s OK, because what I really want to talk about is Liam Neeson and other movies he’s in that I do like, but also aren’t good.
No, I don’t mean “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” I haven’t even watched that since it was released.
I want to talk about “Gun Shy,” a movie my wife introduced me to. And I want to talk about “Krull,” one of those 1980s sci-fi/fantasy movies that people my age love.
“Gun Shy” (2000) also stars Sandra Bullock and Oliver Platt. Neeson plays Charlie, a DEA agent who works both sides of a drug deal but ends up befriending Platt’s less-than-stellar Mafioso Fulvio Nesstra. Bullock becomes the love interest after performing an enema on Charlie as part of his treatments for anxiety.
There are flashbacks and a twisty plot for those who like retro noir. There’s plenty of humor, particularly between Neeson and Platt, but the movie never caught on with a larger audience. Some of the story can be hard to follow, but on a scale of “Schindler’s List” to That Which Shall Not Be Named, “Gun Shy” is a solid seven in my book.
Neeson appeared as either a secondary or supporting character in a number of films I like before he became a star with 1993’s Oscar-dominating “Schindler’s List.” He was in the Dirty Harry movie “The Dead Pool” in 1988 and the Patrick Swayze hillbilly vengeance film “Next of Kin” in 1989. But in 1983, he was in “Krull.”
Neeson isn’t by any means the star of this classic — and by “classic,” I mean super nerdy — sci-fi/fantasy movie. Instead, Neeson plays Kegan, one of a group of warriors assisting Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall) in rescuing his bride (Lysette Anthony) from aliens who invaded his planet.
That’s right. Aliens invade a futuristic medieval world and fight a prince whose best weapon is a multi-taloned spinning thing that sprouts claws. And Liam Neeson got to help the rescue efforts.
On our previous scale, “Krull” is closer to That Which Shall Not Be Named in quality but has a goofiness to it that I find makes it an enjoyable viewing experience.
Neeson is more often hit than miss these days as he’s essentially become Sean Connery: an action star who gets better with age.
Just don’t tell my wife we were talking about that one movie.
Tranchell is an author and freelance writer in Moscow, Idaho. He’ll watch “Krull” with you, if you want. What’s your favorite Neeson role? Let’s talk: firstname.lastname@example.org.