Thursday, April 9, 2015

Movie with Abe: Kill Me Three Times

Kill Me Three Times
Directed by Kriv Stenders
Released April 10, 2015

The simplest way to tell a story is chronologically, from beginning to end. But there’s something that gets added by using a creative narrative structure, inserting new details into an apparent account of an event as they are revealed in fresh iterations and examinations that bring important information to light. This device works well for “Kill Me Three Times,” the tale of a hitman trying hard to take out his mark, the specifics of which become clearer and clearer as this offbeat comedy fills in the blank about exactly whose fate is in the crosshairs.

We meet a number of characters throughout each of the three sections of the film whose relationships are revealed as it progresses. Charlie Wolfe (Simon Pegg) is a hitman first seen casually pursuing his prey in the desert, interrupting his kill shot to take a phone call. Alice (Alice Braga), who is stuck in a bad relationship with Jack (Callan Mulvey), needs to go to the dentist to get a tooth injury looked at, where it just so happens that Dr. Nathan Webb (Sullivan Stapleton) is planning something malicious with his wife and secretary Lucy (Teresa Palmer). Also in the mix are dirty cop Bruce (Bryan Brown) and kindhearted Dylan (Luke Hemsworth).

It’s not always apparent what is going on in this film, but what’s paramount is its entertainment factor. All of the characters are well-defined and immensely watchable, and their interactions, however puzzling they may be at the start and even at the finish, are pretty fantastic. Assembling the pieces isn’t too difficult, but the film drops its important revelations at just the right moments to further compound the plot and add more backstory to its plot. Sometimes, it feels like a James Bond parody, and at others just an eccentric comedic thriller with an Australian spin.

Pegg is an actor known for films that might seem serious but certainly aren’t meant to be taken as such, and that makes him a good fit for what should be considered the lead role here, even if he doesn’t deliver the strongest performance of the bunch. Braga and Palmer are both terrific as women fighting for their livelihood under very different circumstances, and Brown and Hemsworth enhance their selected supporting scenes. This film above all else is fun, not intent on making sense the entire time but one of the most enjoyable and enthralling experiences of the year so far to watch.


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