Undercover DEA agent Charlie (Liam Neeson) is traumatised after a violent drugs bust, and joins a self-help therapy group in order to get through his final assignment - a money-laundering scam between small-time Mafioso Fulvio Nestra (Oliver Platt), drug baron Fidel Vaillar (José Zuniga) and dealer Jason. Fulvio only wants to pull off the deal in order to fulfil his ambition to become a gardener - much to the disdain of his wife - and is less than pleased when Jason begins pressuring him and Fidel to think bigger. Meanwhile Charlie - who is unaware that Jason is in cahoots with his crooked superior, Dexter - tries to take his mind off the deal by dating nurse Judy (Sandra Bullock) after she gives him an enema.
had the misfortune to come along after several other "killer pursues therapy" movies/TV shows (Grosse Pointe Blank, Analyze This, The Sopranos
); in this case, it's a DEA agent and not a Mafioso, but that wasn't enough to keep it from getting swept aside. Liam Neeson (Schindler's List, Rob Roy
) plays Charlie, a government undercover agent whose last mission got botched, resulting in his partner's death. The DEA isn't willing to let him get out early; Charlie agrees to one more mission. On his flight to the city, he meets a psychiatrist who encourages him to join a group therapy session. Meanwhile, it turns out that the gangster Fulvio, played by busy character actor Oliver Platt (Funny Bones, Bulworth
), is equally miserable with his career. Sandra Bullock (who also produced the film) is also enlisted for a small role as the gastroenterologist love interest. Curiously, Neeson and Platt both seem initially miscast--Neeson exudes a solid imperturbability, and Platt comes off as too soft to be really threatening--but over the course of the movie, their performances become increasingly compelling, perhaps because they are cast against type. Their neuroses, which initially seem like a weak gag, starts to feel genuine and sad. Gun Shy
is marketed as a comedy, but its strength is in the truth of its characters. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com