The Way of the Gun (2000)

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Released 3-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 114:28 (Case: 119)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Christopher McQuarrie

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Benicio Del Toro
Ryan Phillippe
James Caan
Juliette Lewis
Scott Wilson
Taye Diggs
Dylan Kussman
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $14.95 Music Joe Kraemer

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† If you enjoyed The Usual Suspects then I'll venture you'll enjoy The Way Of The Gun. Beside the fact that both movies feature plots that will hold your attention until the end credits roll, both films were also written by Christopher McQuarrie who won an Oscar for his screenplay of The Usual Suspects.

††† While the story ultimately becomes a bit convoluted, the basic plot involves two drifters, Longbaugh (Benicio Del Toro) and Parker (Ryan Phillippe), who travel the countryside looking for a big score, but in the interim make what money they can by whatever means presents itself. Two favourites seem to be selling their blood and their semen; "A pint of your blood can fetch you fifty bucks. A shot of cum, three grand."†† While waiting to make their donations at the Sperm Bank they overhear a telephone conversation about a surrogate mother who is being paid a million dollars to have a baby on behalf of a rich couple. This is an opportunity that they can't pass up and they plan to kidnap the girl and then ransom her. The only specific information they have about the girl is her Doctor's name so in order to find her they track down her Doctor and stake-out his office. This ultimately brings them into contact with the girl, Robin (Juliette Lewis) and her bodyguards Jeffers (Taye Diggs) and Obecks (Nicky Katt). A shoot-out results but Parker and Longbaugh are successful in making off with Robin. With Robin in distress the kidnappers call her Doctor, Allen Painter (Dylan Kussman) who rushes to her side to assist. Meanwhile, the prospective father, Hale Chidduck (Scott Wilson), turns out to be connected to the mob and calls in Joe Sarno (James Caan) to get the girl back.

††† Sounds all fairly straight-forward and simple, doesn't it? Well, I can assure you it's not. Exactly who all these people are and what their relationships to each other are is what makes this a riveting story. The fact that it's got more than enough action and some interesting plot twists doesn't hurt either. For good measure, there's some humour as well with a hilarious scene at the Sperm Bank in which both Longbaugh and Parker are interviewed to assess their suitability as donors.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


††† Except for the excessive edge enhancement, (all edge enhancement is excessive in my opinion), this is a very good transfer that features rich colour and detailed images. Unfortunately, the edge enhancement is just too noticeable and occurs too often on this disc for my liking.

††† Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced. The image is just slightly cropped as its original aspect ratio was 1.85:1.

††† This is quite a sharp transfer which displays very good shadow detail. The deep blacks are not marred by any low level noise.

††† A very rich full colour palette is on display in this movie and it is accurately reproduced in this transfer. In fact, this a darn good-looking movie which captures the colours of the various locations and particularly of the Mexican countryside and architecture very nicely.

††† Film artefacts were limited to easily overlooked small marks which appear relatively infrequently. There's some aliasing to be seen but this is not severe nor frequent. Some slight film grain can be seen if you look very closely. There were no MPEG artefacts.

††† Based on a 15 minute sample of the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles, I'm happy to report that these are word perfect. The are displayed in a pale yellow colour and are easy to read and are well timed. The subtitles are placed at the bottom of the screen but rather than just being centred which is the usual practise, these are placed as close as possible to the character that is speaking.

††† As this is a single layered disc, there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††† This is an excellent transfer which which is just short of reference quality and makes full use of all channels to very effectively put you squarely in the middle of the action.

††† Only a single Dolby Digital 5.1 English audio track is provided.

††† Except for the odd indistinct word, the dialogue was always perfectly clear and well synced. At 80:54 it is possible to hear some distortion in the dialogue.

††† The variety of music covers a lot of ground and extends from The Rolling Stones' Rip This Joint through various Mexican-themed pieces to Mozart's Piano Concerto No 23A. This very interesting mix of music works extremely well with this slightly off-beat movie and definitely enhances the viewing experience.

††† While for much of the movie the audio emanates from the screen channels there are numerous occasions when the surrounds come alive in support of the music as well as the effects† to extensively expand the soundfield around the viewer. When this happens the audio is a delight and you are drawn into the action. For example, in the various gunfight sequences the bullets can be heard flying past your ears.

††† The subwoofer is used subtly in support of the musical score and more powerfully in support of the effects. There's some really good usage during the gun battle between 16:20 and 16:45.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††† There's nothing on this disc that could reasonably be considered an extra.


††† The 16x9 enhanced menu is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. There's a short animated introduction sequence before the menu is displayed. The menu itself is not animated but it does feature Dolby Digital 5.1 audio which is a pleasant change from the standard Dolby Digital 2.0 audio that is normally used for menus.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

††† The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

††† The Region 1 disc is a clear winner based on the wide range of extras that are included. If or when this title comes to sell-through, this situation may change.


††† The Way Of The Gun is a very good movie. The plot holds your attention, the characters are interesting, and it has been nicely transferred to DVD. What more could you want other than some interesting extras? The lack of extras is the only real let down.

††† The video quality is excellent.

††† The audio quality is superb.

††† They forgot to put the extras on the disc.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

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