Guns is a Canadian TV mini-series that came to fruition in late 2008. The premise of the series is slightly convoluted. Paul Duguid (Colm Feore) is a legitimate arms dealer that sells to governments around the world. However, Duguid also sells illegal weapons to gangs around Toronto as well. Duguid comes under police scrutiny when his son Bobby (Gregory Smith) goes to a street level gun dealer’s house that is under police surveillance. Bobby also becomes implicated in the murder of the father of a U.S. Senator. During all of these events, Bobby’s girlfriend Frances (Elisha Cuthbert) volunteers to smuggle guns across the border. The multiple storylines on display here work well in a TV mini series. However, when shown in 180 minutes on a DVD, they are difficult to appreciate.
The series is a strong effort from a Canadian medium. The performances are not too bad and the series did enlist some actors with some chops. Colm Feore has been a prominent actor in Canadian TV and film for quite some time now. Also, Elisha Cuthbert may not be a great actress. However, her name attached to this project could attract a youthful following. When viewing this effort, people need to hold it up against the other Canadian television that has been produced recently. This is slightly above the Degrassi: the next generation direction that Canadian television has taken. So the production quality is at a higher standard. Also, this series gives off the impression that is made by Canadians for Canadians. The series being shot in Toronto and the references to local spots and cities around the Toronto area would not be understood by people that are not from Canada. Unfortunately, this series would probably fail in any market other than Canada.
As far as direction goes it does not distract. The scenes have the necessary emotion and the score aids in the storytelling. The writing works reasonably well in this medium and it is at par with most sitcoms. Overall, this series entertains Canadian audiences with its location shooting and references. The drawback of making a series like this strictly for Canadians is that it limits the audiences that can enjoy it.
Guns is presented in an enhanced 1.33:1 (16:9) format. Seeing as how the original broadcast was in High Definition, the picture should look good and it does. The contrast is good and the transfer is seamless. The blacks are deep and the transfer is free of grain. Overall, a strong final product.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound does not provide an immersive experience at all. It might as well be in stereo sound. Although, the sound is clear and everything is synced properly, the experience is just not there. The music is quite a bit louder than the dialogue, which makes it a struggle to find a tolerable volume level. The audio is a disappointment.
There are none.
Guns is a strong effort in terms of Canadian television. There are flashes of strength and the performances are what carry this series. Unfortunately, the final result is disappointment. However, it was nice to hear the Winnipeg reference. If you are not Canadian, you will not enjoy this series to its fullest extent.