You Kill Me

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Luke Wilson, Tea Leoni, Dennis Farina

Movie Mind Says:  Add to Online Rental List

The tagline claims You Kill Me is a “killer comedy” but it plays more confusing and eerie, than funny. The Movie Mind was more confused than amused, but still curious enough to stay in it to see how it turned out. Usually, when the running joke is at the expense of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings the viewers are not quite sure how to take it.

In about as dark a role in a “dark comedy” as you can get, Sir Ben Kingsley just plain wierds me out. With that being said, I felt he was amazing [ly creepy]. Sir Ben, playing Frank, an old-time hit-man for some sort of Polish-mafia (funny enough in and of itself), has to take a long hiatus from his killing to tackle his booze problem. Yes, you heard right…his drinking is getting in the way of his ability to be a good killer. He leaves his “employer” behind to fend for themselves while Dennis Farina’s crew is moving in on their territory.

This is the gist of the plotline, which carries the movie most of the way. Tea Leoni steps in as Sir Ben’s love-interest to add some comedic levity. Without her, it’s just a twisted movie about a drunk killer who goes to AA meetings. Her presence allows the viewers to laugh at certain scenes where we may have just felt even creepier from Sir Ben’s vibe. Unfortunately, Luke Wilson was not given enough room to make a real impact either on the creepiness, or the comedy. It’s as if the director, John Dahl, was able to convince Luke to sign on late and had to increase a smaller role to more than his original intentions.

Leoni turns the movie from a twisted, complex, film based on the struggles of one character into more of the dark comedy we were pitched in the tagline. Unfortunately, the two themes conflict more then they mesh. The beginning of the film plays out in more of the dark fashion but after her appearance it turns into more of a goofy-comedy.

If I didn’t say it before, I’ll say it again. Kingsley actually scares me in this role. He leaves you with an uneasy feeling at the end, and leaves viewers to wonder if he really can cope with all his demons.

The funniest part about the movie is that struggle going on within him…overcoming his fight to rid his life of booze because it is holding him back from his work. His drinking is keeping him from being a good murderer, however not any other part of his life. Leoni can deal just fine with his career choice, it’s the drinking she wants to help him overcome. It seems to me toward the end of the movie the script loses its way.

Leoni helps Sir Ben get back on track to becoming a good killer again, yet he is hesitant to do so. It makes you wonder whether he really enjoys be a killer, which was his prime motivation throughout. Are we to believe that Leoni will be ok with being with an ex-killer after she was so willing to understand the life he had?

The movie amounts to the inner-struggle of a very confusing character, sprinkled with some amusing twists. If you still seem puzzled after reading this, now you know how I feel.
Submitted: 11-14-07 

If You Like This You Should Watch:  Grosse Pointe Blank, Very Bad Things
Better Than:  Drop Dead Gorgeous
Worse Than:  True Romance, Four Rooms

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