Review: Killing Gunther

Killing Gunther
2 10

PLOT: A motley crew of assassins team-up to take down the world’s greatest hit-man, Gunther (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

REVIEW: Writer-director-star Taran Killam has his heart in the right place. An avowed action fanboy with a love of James Bond and the action Gods of the eighties, KILLING GUNTHER is his attempt at a globe-trotting action romp, with himself as the star. He plays a goofy, but not unsuccessful contract killer, who nevertheless, can’t stand the fact that no matter what he does, the great Gunther will always be number one. It’s essentially the same story as ASSASSINS, albeit on a much smaller scale and done as a goofy mockumentary in the Christopher Guest tradition.

Quite honestly, I root for a guy like Killam, and even though the trailers were bad, I wanted KILLING GUNTHER to be fun. So, it’s a drag that I gotta come out and say that, despite Killam’s enthusiasm, this is an utter disaster. There’s really nothing worse than an unfunny comedy, and this one is utterly without laughs.

While an ensemble, no one but Killam actually gets much to do, with Bobby Moynihan and Hannah Simone playing variations on the parts they play on SNL and “New Girl,” as his killer colleagues. In fact, the entire film is like a bad SNL skit drawn-out to feature length, with the idea of Killan as the chipper, nice guy hitman who treats killing as just another job, a familiar gag.

Killam’s real-life wife, Cobie Smulders, turns up in a small role as his former lover, who, we find out, had a fling with Gunther, and played a part in him wanting to put paid to his rival. As for Arnold Schwarzenegger, this all amounts to little more than an extended cameo. It feels like they maybe had him for a day, although to give Schwarzenegger his due, he looks like he’s having fun. While I didn’t find his performance funny, it’s at least enthusiastic, so there’s that. He only turns up about seventy minutes into this ninety minute film, and the jokes, which include Arnie singing country music and poking fun at being Austrian, are way too obvious.

All told, KILLING GUNTHER, which goes out in limited release this week but is already on VOD, is a painfully unfunny comedy. Even still, I must admit to having a certain fondness for all involved, including Killam, who seems like a genuinely good guy, making this pan a drag to write. But hey - gotta be honest. Even if you’re the biggest Ah-nuld fan in the world, give this one a hard pass.

Source: JoBlo.com



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