Friday, April 3, 2009

Review - Killshot

A husband and wife on the verge of divorce, fall witness two deadly men and their failed extortion plan. The struggling couple are put into the Federal witness protection program and are forced to try to rebuild their crumbling marriage, while quickly becoming the target of the deadly contract killer and his lunatic rookie associate. The events that follow will test both the husband and wife in their marriage and ultimately their survival.

John Madden directs "Killshot" from the Elmore Leonard's novel of the same name, which was adapted to screenplay by Hossein Amini. The film feels like a long depature from Madden's highly acclaimed Shakespeare in Love and unfortunately suffers from a highly predictable plot. While the pacing and tone of the film are done quite well, the overall execution is lacking to the point, it becomes evident why the film has sat on a shelf for over two years.

Diane Lane and Tom Jane play the divided married couple who are now forced to live with eachother again after witnessing a failed extortion ploy by two criminals. Their characters are overall extremely dry, leaving the viewer to question how two talented actors come across so plain. Lane who is an exceptional actress seems sidetracked throughout the entire film, even during the climax, while Jane is the clumsy husband who is desperately trying to save his failing marriage.

Mickey Rourke and Joseph Gordon-Levitt make-up the two criminals and are the most engaging throughout the 84 minute film. Rourke's character is however, ultimately a disappointment. He is believable and edgy throughout, except his character is supposed to be part Native American and watching Rourke trying to portray a Native American becomes a bit grating. The broken english used by Rourke further takes the viewer out of the character leaving the viewer unresponsive to the finale. Gordon-Levitt on the other hand is the spark that makes the film worth watching. His performance is stellar and his portrayal of a psychopathic killer, is spot on. Watching Rourke mentor Gordon-Levitt also adds some great flare to the film, while also being some of the best moments during the running time of the movie.

"Killshot" is a film I had high hopes for with such a talented cast, however the final result leaves something to be desired. The film is highly predictable, resulting in a anti-climatic finale. Where "Killshot" succeeds is the setup of the film. The opening is engaing, Gordon-Levitt and Rourke combine for a daunting criminal duo who leave no witnesses. From that point on the film has moments of brilliance, however those moments are too in between, leaving too much idle time for the viewer to become unimpressed with the overall story. I recommend waiting for dvd or even better, cable for this one!