Thursday, August 06, 2009

Killshot: Grade B

Killshot (2008)
Micky Rourke, Diane Lane, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Thomas Jane; Director John Madden.

A strong cast and outstanding photography make this action-thriller a good watch. Rourke is a mafia hit man in northern Michigan who, for no reason except maybe loneliness, makes friends with a psychopathic (close to psychotic) young man, Richie (Gordon-Levitt). The two of them shoot up the office of a guy Richie is trying to blackmail. The guy isn’t even in the office, but a husband and wife (Lane and Jane) are there, so obviously, they must be killed in order to “tie up loose ends.” But inexplicably, the bad guys leave and then have to hunt down the witnesses later.

Does this make sense? A mafia hit man needs to kill two real estate agents because they saw his face when some windows and plaster were broken? It is not a believable premise. One gets the feeling the script was re-written so many times it lost its way. The last part of the movie focuses on the hunt. The couple goes into witness protection, but predictably, that doesn’t work and there is a confrontation.

The story is so lame it robs the movie of any dramatic tension. However, much else about the movie is good. Rourke’s brooding Indian character is believable and fascinating. Gordon-Levitt gives 110% in an energetic performance well worth watching. Sets and photography are outstanding, characterizations for the bad guys are strong. The pacing flags at times, and Rosario is wasted, but it’s an engaging, satisfying film anyway, and Rourke stands out.

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