DIRECTOR Pierre Morel’S geopolitical thriller”The Gunman” begins in 2006 in the Congo, where mercenary Jim Terrier (Sean Penn), an ex-special forces man working ostensibly in security, is up to something dodgy with his band of European former military types, who include Felix (Javier Bardem) and Cox (stage actor Mark Rylance). One morning Jim says goodbye to girlfriend Annie (Italian actress Jasmine Trinca). She thinks he’ll be picking her up later at the health clinic where she works. He says he hopes he won’t be working late. We know from Penn’s face that it might be a long while indeed before he returns.
That same night, as it happens, Jim’s task is to assassinate the country’s mining minister on behalf of his shadowy foreign bosses. His mission accomplished, Jim needs to leave, and fast. Eight years later, after some time in Europe, he’s back in Africa, trying to purge his sins with humanitarian work digging wells. But someone’s out to kill him. After a sudden attack at his worksite sees him dispatching a bunch of machine-gun toting killers, Jim flees once more, in a desperate fight to find his killers before they find him.