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Kill Me Three Times - Movie Review

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Kill Me Three Times - Movie Review

2 stars

The off-kilter hit man.  The three lines of plot to follow.  The dark comedy.  Kill Me Three Times is what happens when a gritty film noir tours Australia with Simon Pegg as its guide.  Reminiscent of Blood Simple, director Kriv Stenders offers this ode of murder most foul to anyone who hates surprises.  It is often funny.  It is often violent.  It is also often not as clever as it could have been.

Pegg is Charlie Wolfe.  Charlie sports a Fu Manchu mustache.  He wears all black.  He drives an Oldsmobile Tornado from the 1960’s.  He is the most obvious hit man to ever grace the screen.  The movie opens as he wraps up his latest job.  He is interrupted when his phone beckons for his attention.  We settle in to what is presumably his next job.  The narrative then flips the script on its audience.

We flash-forward and back between three developing plots.  In one, a bartender/wife (Alice Braga) tries to run from an abusive marriage with bar owner (Callan Mulvey) and fall straight into the arms of her lover (Luke Hemsworth).   In another, a dentist (Sullivan Stapleton) fakes a death by his receptionist/wife (Teresa Palmer).  Everything comes together through Charlie, who curses his luck as multiple people try to kill each other and takes credit for it all.

Written by James McFarland and co-starring Bryan Brown, Kill Me Three Times takes a stab at its own inspiration and flaunts creativity with a solid ensemble cast.  It is also, unfortunately, too rooted in admiration and imitation for its own good.  Opening with an expletive from Pegg, the film thunders down its pulpy path with pages that attempt to clarify each chapter before it.  All this adds up to the fact that nothing is what it seems.  Never confusing, the structure is a brave one but not a fresh one; all of it feels a bit too familiar.

There is a casual indifference to the story that betrays both the talents of the cast and the locations – especially under Geoffrey Simpson’s watch (as Director of Photography) – of the film.  It wants to be too cool for school but does little to earn its status.  Some of the darkly comic situations could have been executed by anyone.  It is obvious that Pegg, who also starred in the recent Hector and the Search for Happiness, is looking to establish himself outside of the Edgar Wright/Nick Frost roles we love him for, but roles as automatic as this one aren’t doing him any favors.

Kill Me Three Times?  Once is enough. 

Kill Me Three Times - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: Kriv Stenders
Writer:
James McFarland
Cast:
Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga
Genre
: Action | Thriller
Tagline:
Once is never enough
Memorable Movie Quote: "She's getting away!"
Distributor:
Magnet Releasing
Official Site: http://magnetreleasing.com/killmethreetimes/
Release Date:
April 10, 20015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: Professional hit-man Charlie Wolfe finds himself in three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge after a botched contract assignment.

No details available.

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