×

BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003797Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
You Kill Me
DVD disk
10.08.2007 By: Mathew Plale
You Kill Me order
Director:
John Dahl

Actors:
Ben Kingsley
Téa Leoni
Luke Wilson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After a hitman (Kingsley) botches a hit, he is sent to San Francisco to sober up before he is allowed back in the family business.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Imagine being hunted by a hitman. Now, picture further that, luck on your side, your assassin passes out before the trigger’s pulled. This is not a scenario that pleases Roman Krzeminski (Philip Baker Hall), whose nephew’s dependence on the bottle has interfered with the whacking of rival Edward O’Leary (Dennis Farina). But it does lay the tracks for one hell of an on-target dramedy.

Frank Falenczyk (Kingsley, who guides the familiar scenarios on fresh tracks), after the botch, is sent to San Francisco to sober up before he is permitted—if at all—back into the family snowplowing business. Only problem, Frank discovers, is that he needs a wet beak to commit the deeds. Kingsley, as the hitman with a heart of Goldschläger, gives a straight-arrow performance that may chime with the Independent Spirit crowd.

Under the supervision of real-estate wimp Dave (Bill Pullman), Frank is ordered to attend AA meetings and take on a job at a funeral parlor, which gives him a glimpse of a corpse long after the smoke clears. His alien surroundings introduce him to two central characters: Tom (Wilson), a tollbooth schlub who takes the reins as Frank’s sponsor, and the love interest Lauren (Leoni), whose shining moment last year came in the form of a congratulatory plaque.

There’s no peculiarity in their befriending Frank, even after he reveals his means of living. He is a gentle man, even if his blood pumps on shots of firearms and whiskey. He is also a good man, even if his sole motivation for shoveling his walkway comes by chasing a vodka bottle through his blanketed yard.

The screenplay (penned by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, who wrote, of all movies, The Chronicles of Narnia), directed by John Dahl (whose Rounders also personified seedy underworlds), allows for askew humor and pure sincerity. Watch the scene after Frank slips off the wagon, in which he explains to Lauren his absence from their date with, “I missed dinner last night because I got drunk with little Irish people.” It gets the laugh, but more importantly, the smile.

But no matter the quantity of laughs, You Kill Me still doesn’t put much effort into an upgrade on the problematic hitman story, which has been explored deliciously in Grosse Point Blank and more recently, The Matador. It hits its stride of quirks (that may work for some), as when Frank, after a double-bladed observation on the art of precision over a game of ten-pin, hits a revelation to make amends to those he’s killed…at least poorly. But how does a murderer square the bullet holes he’s left behind? The way Frank sees it, mailing a $25 Sony gift card to the victim’s family will suffice.

You Kill Me drifts along various (sub)genres, but (and pardon the hyphens) a fish-out-of-water-dark-rom-com-dram seems most fitting. It is a good movie—one sprinkled with hearty laughs and, above all, honesty.
THE EXTRAS
Feature Commentary by Director John Dahl and Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely: The fellas have a great chemistry with one another, as expected. They each have their share of production stories, some of which involve the problems the crew ran into. Worth a listen.

Behind the Scenes (10:20): This is your standard piece, with cast/crew interviews, BTS footage, character focus, and brief tributes to the stars (most notably, Ben Kingsley).

Before and After Visual Effects Comparison (5:37): You may not notice them on your initial viewing, but there are over 230 visual effects in You Kill Me. Supervisor Chris Ervin guides and tells us how they enhance the atmosphere of the movie. A cool watch.

Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
You Kill Me is a refreshing little gem that gets by on laughs, a sincere heart, and a terrific performance by Ben Kingsley. This is one that is likely to slip under the radar--but don't let it.
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| March 2017 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Fantastic Beasts
  • 2
    Sing
  • 3
    Moana
  • 4
    Doctor Strange
  • 5
    Fifty Shades Darker

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting