Aiming low: Kill Me Three Times *1/2

By Dennis Hartley

(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on April 11, 2015)

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This is a public service announcement, brought to you by Saturday Night at the Movies. Are you an aspiring film maker? Do you have Tarantino-Coen Syndrome? Know the 5 major warning signs:

  • Do you have excessive blood in your spool? Surf music?
  • Does your screenplay suffer from shortness of breadth?
  • Do the twists and turns in your narrative cause viewer dizziness?
  • Do you have difficulty keeping your timelines linear?
  • Do your influences go as far back as Blood Simple or Pulp Fiction?

If you answered “yes” to 3 or more of these questions, don’t feel alone. You’ve got company. Take Messrs. Kriv Stendors (director) and James McFarland (screenwriter). Clearly, these gentlemen are among the afflicted, as evidenced from their strictly by-the-numbers “hit man comedy”, Kill Me Three Times.

Despite the presence of seasoned comic actor Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End), the film is a curiously dull and not-so-funny affair about a smarmy hit man (Pegg) who ties together a triumvirate of nefarious schemes involving (wait for it) revenge, blackmail and murder in the Australian outback.

Not that I am imperiously declaring that there should be a moratorium on employing those reliable noir staples in a genre pic, but if you want to stand out from the pack, at least pretend you’re making an effort come up with an original angle. Otherwise, take 2 aspirin and see a script doctor first thing in the morning.

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