The Guest: Entertaining but very, very strange

Written by AndrewMusgrove1

Sometimes a movie comes along which leaves you at the finish asking “what the bloody heck?” – You didn’t hate it, in fact you quite enjoyed it but for all the wrong reasons.

Sometimes a movie comes along which leaves you at the finish asking “what the bloody heck?” – You didn’t hate it, in fact you quite enjoyed it but for all the wrong reasons. Quite simply, you can’t give a straight answer about it.

Well the latest movie to come into that category is The Guest.  It’s wacky, violent, entertaining and very very strange. You’re left wondering whether it’s an action or a comedy, coming to the conclusion that the movie itself doesn’t quite know. 

Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens stars as the charismatic US solider David Collins, who has just been discharged from the army after serving in the Middle East.  Out of the blue he turns up on the doorstep of the Peterson family, who are still grieving for their son, Caleb, who died while on duty with David.

Immediately he’s welcomed into the family with the grieving mother falling for his charm and taking him in as the son she has just lost.  In the alarming space of 48 hours, he’s picking the kids up from school and going to parties with them. 

You know there is something up with him but while he’s beating up the school bullies you find yourself liking him.

Dan Stevens – The Next Bond? 

But as the movie goes on, David’s lies catch up with him even if as the viewer you never quite find out the true story.  And with the shooting and fight scenes, Stevens adds a bit of fuel to those small fires which are burning his name onto the list of the next James Bond. 

Admittedly, he fights more like Jason Bourne than Bond but Stevens has the charm and the physique to become the next 007.

The movie itself is a bit of parody on the Bond and Bourne franchise while keeping the mean streak of an action thriller with a sprinkling of what seems not dissimilar to Quentin Tarantino running through the flick.

There is no hiding behind riddles or twists. From the out you know what is going to happen, David is going to really mess things up. You’re just not too sure of how he’s going to do so.

It’s violent, explosive yet with an annoying abundance of boyish charm which makes you still like Steven’s character. 

There are more questions than answers as the movie closes but it’s arguable that director Adam Wingard knows exactly what he’s doing. Throughout the flick, the silliness grows in a Django Unchained manner yet impressively the hard-line grittiness we’re used to seeing in Bourne or Bond remains.

From Downton to Hollywood

At the some stages you’ll find yourself laughing out loud before reminding yourself it’s actually an action movie – and if you don’t – the blood and gore that follows might get you thinking it’s more a horror. That’s maybe one of the attractions of The Guest – it’s not taking itself too seriously while maintaining it’s dignity as a thriller. 

It’s entertaining, if not a bit strange but it’s brought Stevens from the lawn of Downton to the streets of Hollywood and it’ll be interesting to see just where he goes from here.   

If you can avoid the trailer you’ll enjoy The Guest much more, if you’ve already seen it then you still pop along, although you might be left a little confused if not disappointed that it’s not a full out action movie. 

What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.