Thursday, September 13, 2012

KILL LIST (2011) movie review

Kill List (2011) d. Wheatley, Ben

A wild little Brit flick, one that takes one of the more extraordinary third-act left turns in recent memory – even though the actions are more or less justified, you’ll never see it coming. Needing to pay the bills, hit man Neil Maskell comes out of his shell-shocked semi-retirement for a new assignment that proves to be a dark Pandora’s box that threatens to consume him completely. The viewer is immediately drawn into Maskell’s plight and presenting the assassin as a regular family guy with everyday problems (paying the rent, arguing with the wife, picking up their kid from school) allows us to connect with our protagonist in spite of the thick accents and frequent emotional outbursts. The doughy-faced actor is not a typical badass, which is why when his violent side explodes to the surface – which it does in several vivid blood-soaked sequences – it proves doubly shocking. While the WTF factor of the last reel may alienate some, director/co-writer Wheatley has earned our respect to that point and there’s no denying its bold narrative gutpunch. Recommended.

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