Calling the shots in trigger- happy town
THE shooting that kicks off this miniseries was drawn from life: in the incident, a young girl and several other victims were tragically caught in crossfire on a Toronto street.
The event generated a heated debate about shooting crimes and the ease with which Canadians could acquire arms from their gun-crazy neighbours across the border.
Director David ‘‘ Sudz’’ Sutherland uses this senseless tragedy to demonstrate the random nature of gun violence, weaving a tight drama about cops, arms dealers and the social problems of gun culture.
Not surprisingly, the shock killing puts the police under pressure not only to solve the murder but to do something about the proliferation of guns on Toronto’s streets.
The two-part drama unfolds through several perspectives but centres mainly on four families. Colm Feore ( 24 ) gets to do something he’s exceedingly good at: play the ultimate evil arms dealer. As Paul Duguid he is a coldly ruthless and arrogant character who stops at nothing to further his nefarious ends.
His one weakness is his accidentprone son, Bobby ( Gregory Smith), whose continued bumbling and eagerness to prove himself brings down nearly everyone with whom he comes into contact. This includes using girlfriend Francis ( Elisha Cuthbert) as a mule to buy guns at a US fair and smuggle them back across the border.
Also tied to the bad guys is recently released convict Conrod ( Cle Bennett), who quickly turns back to crime after his return to the violence of the projects and the company of his cousin Derek ( K. C. Collins). Derek is trying to escape his dodgy upbringing by putting himself through school and
Heated debate: Colm Feore, left, and Gregory Smith star in gets a job as a newspaper intern. But he finds himself sucked back into the past by the return of Conrod and agrees to go on one last crime spree.
Pitted against the bad guys are weapons cops Ford Saunders ( Lyriq Bent) and Rick Merriweather ( Shawn Doyle). Merriweather is traumatised by his unsuccessful attempt to revive the shot little girl and his dedication to the job is causing tension at home. Saunders’s career and love life are also in turmoil after his newspaper reporter girlfriend, Ines ( Athena Karkanis), rummaged through his notebook to get a scoop. Although no longer trusted by his superiors, he is the one with the links that ultimately will allow the police to piece together the jigsaw.
A gritty offering that’s better than average, this made-for-television drama falls short of the dramatic heights and unstinting realism of shows such as HBO’s The Wire . However, Guns picks up as the threads are drawn together. By the surprise cliffhanger ending of the first instalment, people will likely be hooked enough to want to tune in for the second part.