What to Expect
Simon Pegg in any movie holds a bunch of expectations. Of course it’s a different thing that – according to an acquaintance of mine – he’ll “always be Tim Bisley […] whoever [he] tries to play.” Doesn’t exactly make him any less likable though now, does it?
Kill Me Three Times, however, looked very, very generic. And considering the lot of us have been spoilt by witnessing him in some super end-products directed by Edgar Wright (right from the ’99 television sitcom Spaced, which I unfortunately am yet to watch), you’d probably share my sentiments on watching this trailer and not being able to find much to expect.
But hey! Sometimes there’s a lot more you get when the expectation levels are low.
What’s it About?
Charlie Wolfe (Pegg) is an assassin, hired to follow a suspicious man’s wife (Alice Braga), who – as it turns out, is cheating on him.
Which is not great for her, because the husband wants her dead, and hires Wolfe to kill her.
All’s going according to plan when he suddenly gets to know that he’s not the only one in the equation who want her out of their lives.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Well, let me be extremely honest here: I went in almost preparing myself for a movie that was going to be absolute bollocks. Add to that the initial reactions to the film and you’d probably think the movie would be as bad as the people who’ve already watched it eons ago would make it out to be.
Thing is, it isn’t as bad as its extremely lazy, misdirected trailer looks.
Boasting of a concept that’s laced with a nonlinear narrative that effectively divides the film into three parts, the film keeps you effectively engaged for most part. With its revelation of cards being surprisingly calculated, you’re always on your toes, wondering what’s to happen. Of course, that doesn’t by any means prevent you from successfully predicting many a plot-thread. Throw in the shockingly underutilized threads of Teresa Palmer and Simon Pegg, and you’re left wondering why wasn’t potential – both in content and talent – fully utilized.
Despite the dips, however, the movie doesn’t exactly stop being any enjoyable, especially by the final third, which reveals even more character motives, bringing in some rather deserved twists. Elevated only by Geoffrey Simpson’s (The Sessions) stunning cinematography that makes most of this smallish Australian black-comedy, the ample framing gives a strange reference to some popular action-flicks without being an extreme in-your-face parody of them. The retro-styled music brings in that extra vintage kick to the stylized proceedings. The production design is minimalist, but slick. The edit helps jumble the narrative up without making the film look clunky.
To Perform or Not to Perform
Simon Pegg is awesome. Here, however, despite the cool-as-cucumber attitude he’s been successfully able to pull off, there’s this feeling he could have done so much more than what his character was made up to be. Teresa Palmer as the nagging wife seems extremely one-note – which might not necessarily be her fault. Alice Braga is fun to watch initially. As her character progresses through the later stages, however, there’s not much to look forward of her, considering her motives in the later stages feel warped and formulaic. Callan Mulvey (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) performs the jealous-husband stereotype functionally. Sullivan Stapleton as Palmer’s husband is as equally annoying as Palmer’s character turns out. An exercise in repetitiveness, the pairing has reason, but no solid justification of their existence in the film, apart from simply being a twist to the story. Luke Hemsworth is strictly alright.
In all honesty, Kill Me Three Times didn’t really act like the king-sized disappointment it was supposed to be. Extreme repetitiveness in character arcs, the clunky screenplay graph and the shameful underutilization of talent notwithstanding, the film is a breezy, mostly clever black comedy for its own good, if only for the conceit of nonlinearity.
Avoid equating your expectations of the film by its exceedingly misplaced marketing, courtesy the trailer, and you’ll find yourself a strict one-time watch, depending on what you’re after when you’re entering the film.
Watch the trailer
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