Summary - Stefano Brucone
In essence this movie is a cross between The Wicker Man, Eastenders and Gangster No.1. If that doesn't sound like the most appealing mixture then you're right. It isn't. This movie is brutal, nasty and pointless.
The film starts with a married couple, Jay and Shel, screaming at each other and descends from there. He is a surly ex soldier suffering from some hinted at trauma. She is an inexplicably beautiful Swedish woman who seems to have learned her English entirely from episodes of British soaps.
When his friend shows up, Jay gets back in the saddle and starts making his way through the kill list of the title. Just as with the ugly domestic scenes, the violence that follows is brutal and turns the stomach, as Jay becomes increasingly psychopathic. There is an interesting parallel here between the violence in this movie and the similar levels of violence in Drive. Perhaps it is no more than a matter of taste but in Drive, the bloodshed seems to have a context. In Kill List, it is designed purely to shock and get attention. The result is to detach the viewer even further from the central character so that you really couldn't care less about any of the questions raised in the film.
The final denouement is absurd, although it does introduce some tension which is lacking from the first part of the film. Your reward for sitting through this ugly paean to futility is a bitter, lingering aftertaste. There have to be better ways to spend two hours than this.
Review published on the 10 March 2012 10:09
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