Kill me once, shame on you. Kill me three times, shame on me! Some films are a blast right out of the gate, others take a while to build and grow on you, while others still never manage to build any momentum at all. I’ll admit that when I sat down to watch the new dark comedy KILL ME THREE TIMES, I didn’t quite know which of these film-going experiences I was in for. Dark comedies are often hit or miss for me, so I found myself tempering my expectations as the lights dimmed. Well, shame on me for doubting this film, because after the opening line of this movie, I knew I was going to be in for a fun time. Low and behold, a fun time is exactly what I got, and I couldn’t get enough of it! KILL ME THREE TIMES is the story about a contract-killer named Charlie Wolfe, who finds himself smack dab in the middle of a scheme filled with lies, double-crossing, blackmail, corrupt cops, murder, revenge, and, somehow, a little bit of romance. Charlie is more than happy to sit back and watch the show unfold, and make a little money while he’s at it, but if he’s not careful he may just end up falling victim to the ensuing chaos himself.
The film is told in three parts, with each part revealing more about the scheme, slowly unraveling who is really aligned with who and just why each character has found themselves in their current predicament. The truly hilarious thing about this movie is that most of our main characters, regardless of their alliance or motivations, are fairly incompetent, so watching each one of them trying to make a scheme come together is a lot like watching a video on Youtube where you know someone is about to run headfirst into a Stop sign. You feel a little guilty for laughing, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not immediately going to replay the video, or stop cracking up any time soon.
I honestly have very little to complain about when it comes to this movie. It had a great cast, good pacing, an intriguing narrative structure, and an overall fun vibe that was maintained throughout the film from beginning to end. However, if I were to nitpick, I would have to admit that I thought some of the dialogue was a little clunky. Characters have a tendency of directly announcing how they feel, and some of their exposition feels a little forced as you find out more and more about them and their situation. However, this doesn’t detract from any of the actors’ performances, as each member of the cast does a splendid job of portraying funny, callous, threatening, empathetic, and hilariously ineffectual people by turns. If I were to make one other note, it’s that very few of the characters themselves are meant to be likable. While this makes for great comedy while you see them struggling to make their plans come together, some people might take issue with the fact that most of the characters are just terrible people, although personally this didn’t bother me for this film as it has with others. Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, for example, also had a stellar cast and a macabre sense of humor, but didn’t give the audience any characters that they could root for, nor was it entirely satisfying to see plans backfire on characters. Luckily, KILL ME THREE TIMES gives the audience a few underdogs to cheer for, as well as a great deal more levity and an overall lighter tone; when we see characters getting their comeuppance in this film, it’s a touch more satisfying and filled with a lot more laughs. That being said, the other thing to note is that there is some violent imagery as the plot moves closer and closer to the final showdown, so if you’re not a fan of Tarantino-style gunplay, this film might not be for you. However, if you’re a fan of dark comedies or Simon Pegg, then definitely be sure to catch this flick, because you’ll be sure to have a blast!
KILL ME THREE TIMES will be available on iTunes and On Demand on March 26, 2015. It is being released in theaters on April 10, 2015.
~ Megan Salinas
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