The wedding isn’t going the way Tom would like.
He was certain it would be perfect. He planned and paid for the whole thing. He booked a fancy venue on a Philippine island. He even handcrafted a bunch of cute items that he knew his bride-to-be, Darcy, would love.
But all of Tom’s planning can’t make his in-laws like him. His plans don’t account for Darcy’s ex-fiancé, Sean, unexpectedly showing up and giving a better, more moving speech than he does. And he certainly didn’t plan for the two’s unresolved premarital issues to cause them to call off the wedding only moments before it begins.
Sheesh, can this day get any worse?
As a matter of fact, it can. Because while Tom and Darcy are off bickering, their guests are being held at gunpoint by a band of pirates demanding the bride’s father pay up $45 million before they let them go. And with wedding bells threatening to become funeral bells, it’s up to Tom and Darcy to learn how to work together if they want to save everyone—lest death do them part.
There’s a plethora of issues Tom and Darcy never spoke about—ones that a bit of biblical premarital counseling would have helped bring to the forefront to foster healthy conversation. Instead, the two must learn how to communicate with each another now, in some very trying conditions, and work together to survive their pirate threat.
They get perhaps the best advice from their island venue’s happily married owners, Ace and Margy. When Darcy sees how happy the two are, she wistfully comments that the two “must have something special.”
But Margy responds that, in fact, what they have isn’t something that only happens in lucky circumstances. It develops through good communication and by working together. “We’ve messed things up thousands of times,” Margy says, “but when we break something, we fix it.”
A woman is fixated on mystical ideas such as auras and horoscopes. There’s a reference to the Holy Spirit in a background song.
Darcy attempts to seduce Tom into bed with her, striking suggestive poses. She is seen in tight underwear that accentuates features, and the camera objectifies the woman for a time. The two passionately kiss on the bed. Eventually, Tom’s mother walks into the room and asks Darcy how she maintains her figure, and she prompts Tom to sleep in a different room before the wedding.
Darcy’s dress shows some cleavage, and her bridesmaids comment on her breasts. Over the course of the movie, the dress becomes ripped and mangled, and Darcy eventually tears a large section of it off; the dress modification leaves her cleavage emphasized for the rest of the film.
Lots of jokes rely on referencing sexual content. A woman is said to have brought a sex toy, and a joke is made about orgasms. The best man’s whole plotline focuses on him attempting to date the maid of honor after the two had a one-night stand the previous night—and this incident is the source for many more conversations based around it. An attractive man is described in relation to pornography.
Someone calls herself a “devoted mother” and a “less devoted wife.” Tom’s parents talk about various affairs they had as well as a relative with an addiction to sex. People kiss. Tom panics when a “honeymoon playlist” begins playing at the wedding reception.
Tom and Darcy run about the island killing many of their pirate captors. The two use hairspray and fire to light a pirate’s head ablaze, leaving visible and gruesome burn marks. (He survives … for the moment.) Another pirate is killed accidentally when his head smashes against a rock (and Tom and Darcy discuss the corpse for some time). Other pirates are blown up by a grenade, and another is taken out by being thrown through a window. Someone is blown up by fireworks. A man is kicked out of a helicopter, and another man is chopped to bloody bits by the helicopter’s blades.
The pirates, in turn, shoot a man in the arm, and they shoot at Tom and Darcy, too. Another person’s hand is broken. A girl is shot in the ear.
When Tom and Darcy are tied up by pirates and attempt to use a blade to cut their bindings, they accidentally slice Tom’s hand on the blade, leaving it very bloody. From there, we get a scene of Tom’s hand being treated, and Tom describes its injured nature in detail. Darcy slaps Tom during an argument. Tom’s knuckles are shown bleeding.
The f-word is used 15 times, and the s-word is used 14 times. We also hear a half-dozen instances of both “a–” and “b–ch.” “D–n” and “h—” are used a handful of times. God’s name is used in vain a whopping 40 times, including once in the form of “g-dd–n.” Jesus’ name is abused twice.
Darcy drinks alcohol that was reportedly left in a bathroom. People drink liquor. Someone smokes a cigarette. We hear a reference to “weed gummies” and alcohol.
A woman discusses urinating while standing up. There’s a general lack of communication between characters, and many of them are rather selfish.
Last year, Jennifer Lopez got married in Marry Me. If we’re comparing it to your standard wedding vows, that film focused on the “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer” part. This year, she’s getting married again. But this time, she’s grappling with the “until death do us part” section.
Shotgun Wedding is about what you’d expect—a romcom action flick that certainly isn’t going to challenge you with any complex themes. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and it’s more akin to the genre of films that you put on in the background but don’t actually ever get around to watching.
Dissecting the movie title will tell you all you need to know about it. The “shotgun” part will tell you that it’s going to have a bunch of crazy-antic action sequences as its two clumsy protagonists blast through a half-dozen or so inept pirates. The “wedding” part will inform you that many of the movie’s jokes will be based around sex and those pesky new in-laws. The title doesn’t warn you about all the swearing, but that’s what Plugged In is here to do.
I’ve never been a fan of movies where the majority of the conflict could’ve been avoided had the characters simply been mature enough to talk to one another about their concerns, and that situation is—more or less—the case in Shotgun Wedding. With all that in mind, we’re not going to stick this movie’s “Save the Date” to our fridge anytime soon.
Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”