"Year of the Gun" is a most unsatisfying thriller from director John Frankenheimer, who, in better days, gave us "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Seven Days in May," among others. His last film was the dreadful Don Johnson vehicle, "Dead-Bang."
"Year of the Gun" has a wimpy American journalist (Andrew McCarthy) in 1978 Rome as the Red Brigades, terrorists who want to overthrow the government, have the city under siege. The story has McCarthy naively writing a novel about the group, using a kidnapping plot that he has created, but which in fact outlines precisely what the terrorists plan to do. Worse, he has used the names of friends as characters, endangering their lives.
McCarthy is in love with an Italian single mother (Valeria Golino) but begins an affair with a famous, over-zealous photojournalist (Sharon Stone), who wants to illustrate his book.
The characters are drawn in a dull manner, the plot twists are most illogical and the action scenes are mediocre at best. The film does get better in the final quarter, but since there is not a single character to like or identify with here, it's a futile exercise.
"Year of the Gun" is rated R for considerable violence, sex, nudity and profanity.