The Gunman

I can imagine Sean Penn agreeing to star in this Taken knockoff on the condition that it educate moviegoers about humanitarian crises in Africa; it does, but the film feels misshapen as a result. Penn plays a retired mercenary still haunted by an assassination he carried out in Congo eight years earlier; when the organization that ordered the hit decides to rub him out, the soldier of fortune goes on the run, kills lots of people in self-defense, etc. Pierre Morel, who directed Taken (2008), delivers something very similar here, alternating between action and rather turgid drama. With Ray Winstone, Javier Bardem, and Idris Elba.