Welcome to the dark side of the cinema. This time with awarding funds from the national lottery, a sure sign of a good movie. With each movie made this way my respect for people who are responsible for the selection grows larger and larger (giggity). As I keep going over my notes about this movie, one sentence keeps popping up: some fucked up shit. Indeed it is. At first, I had doubts about disclosing too much information about Kill List, but fuck it (buttfuck it), I think that you should know what are you getting yourself into. What starts out as a new and fresh look at the British crime genre, towards the end turns into an occult clusterfuck that actually gave me nightmares. So be cautious and do not start watching it at 3 AM. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times accurately describes what you are about to see. A phenomenal personal drama, an insiders look into a life of a hitman and a highly disturbing and enigmatic finale.
Jay is hitman, a highly frowned upon profession but someone’s got to do it. A year after a botched job in Kiev where he lost control, he’s slowly trying to recuperate at home with his wife and son. If you didn’t know that he’s a hitman you would say that this is a pretty average family, although they do fight and scream a lot. Jay’s best friend and partner in crime, Gal is a pretty smooth and calm motherfucker. Faced with financial problems, they decide to do one more job. Upon receiving a kill list and entering the blood pact with their client (Hangover anyone), they pack their bags head to the hotel, starting the one hell of a job…
As I already said, this whole thing could have gone sideways if not for a few constants that tipped the scales. One of them was phenomenal acting by all three leads, but especially Neil Maskell. It’s so rare to see someone who looks the part, acts the part, fucking is the part! The second thing were the relationships, turbulent marriage between Jay and Shel, and eternal camaraderie of Jay and Gal.
Very engaging dialogues and the fantastic acting made sure that this, a bit slower part of the movie is also interesting. The rest can be called everything you ever wanted to know about hitmen and their lives. The familiar look and atmosphere of British social realism in a best tradition of their cinema just got another great addition. In conclusion, Kill List is such a strange movie that each viewer will take away different things from it, for some it will be the extremely graphic violence and its dark nature and for others, it will be that strange atmosphere…
And if you want to watch something similar but a bit more optimistic I recommend In Bruges, another British movie about hitmen.
Director: Ben Wheatley
Writer: Amy Jump, Ben Wheatley
Cast: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Michael Smiley, Struan Rodger, Esme Folley, Ben Crompton, Robin Hill