Daniel Radcliffe, seemingly dedicated to tackling the weirdest roles possible after hitting it big as the star of the Harry Potter film franchise, finds himself in a very peculiar predicament in Guns Akimbo, the new film from Deathgasm writer-director Jason Lei Howden: He’s got guns attached to his hands. Not ideal!
As average nobody Miles, Radcliffe runs afoul of Skizm, an underground fight club that live-streams duels to the death. The club’s ringleader Riktor (Ned Dennehy) forces Miles to participate by—how else?—bolting a pair of pistols to his hands and pitting him against Nix (Ready or Not breakout Samara Weaving, nearly unrecognizable), the most accomplished killer around. Miles scrambles to get out of Nix’s crosshairs and onto her side, desperately attempting to persuade her they should pool their firepower to turn the tables on Skizm—a tall order, considering he can’t even pull up his pants with those gun hands. However the chips may finally fall, it’s clear Miles is going out guns blazing.
Howden’s 2015 feature debut Deathgasm, as you can likely tell from its title alone, demonstrated the rookie filmmaker’s aptitude for zany hijinks laced with tons of blood and chuckles, and Guns Akimbo promises plenty of the same. Either you’re onboard with Daniel Pistolhands, or you’re not—there’s not a whole lot of middle ground here.
Oddly enough, Guns Akimbo had already seeped into the zeitgeist in meme form even prior to today’s trailer: an image of a particularly whacked-out looking Radcliffe, grinning maniacally while clad in his bathrobe and slippers, and wielding two pistols, has been circulating on social media for some time now, only just revealing itself as a photo from the production of Howden’s new film.
Guns Akimbo opens on March 5. See the trailer and full synopsis below.
Nerdy video game developer (Daniel Radcliffe) is a little too fond of stirring things up on the internet with his caustic, prodding, and antagonizing comments. One night, he makes the mistake of drunkenly dropping an inflammatory barb on a broadcast of Skizm, an illegal death-match fight club streamed live to the public. In response, Riktor (Ned Dennehy), the maniacal mastermind behind the channel, decides to force Miles’ hand (or hands, as it were) and have him join the “fun.” Miles wakes to find heavy pistols bolted into his bones, and learns Nix (Samara Weaving), the trigger-happy star of Skizm, is his first opponent.
Gleefully echoing elements of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the Purge franchise, and videogames like Mortal Kombat, Guns Akimbo is hilariously dark, viciously violent, and potentially—chillingly—prescient. Director Jason Lei Howden (Deathgasm) foretells of a future that may soon await us: drone-captured live feeds, UFC-like competitions pushed to an extreme, and online streaming platforms used for gladiatorial entertainment all around the world. As Miles navigates the underworld of Skizm, the stakes—and the ratings—have never been higher.