Extremely dark and unconventional, Runaway Pistol is a Hong Kong movie that takes an unflinching look at the life of one gun—from the gun's point of view.
Narrated by a world-weary pistol that would rather be involved in working with anchovies than shooting people, Runaway Pistol sounds like a bizarre comedy. It isn't. As the gun changes hands through a series of thefts, sales, and murders, it becomes involved in situations that definitely earn the film a CAT III rating.
The gun hopes for some quiet time spent resting in the suitcase of an Indonesian girl, but all that changes when her boyfriend sells it for some quick cash. What follows is a disturbing string of intertwined tales of domestic violence, robberies, accidental snuff porn, young love gone horribly wrong and more. None of it is particularly pleasant although some of it is occasionally blackly amusing.
The gun's spoken involvement is fairly limited; large portions of the film pass without it commenting or talking about its past. By the end of the film I felt that this was a wise choice, as too much would have come off gimmicky.
Gun control is a controversial topic and this Hong Kong CAT III film isn't exactly a sensitive treatment of the subject. The film itself doesn't judge the actions of those involved, letting the viewer reach their own conclusions. The gun does comment to one victim that you can't blame it for the proceedings because it's the humans that are causing the problems. Cliché as the line may be, it's an interesting point in a movie that some might write off as anti-gun.
The film suffers from some dull storylines at the beginning but picks up in the second half. There are some strange narrative choices that—oddly enough—don't always involve the gun, which make the movie a little less cohesive then it could have been. Despite these issues it's still a pretty original and compelling piece of work.
Only recommended for people interested in a very strange film with some very unpleasant content.