Synopsis – Professional hit-man Charlie Wolfe finds himself in three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge after a botched contract assignment.
My Take – Using a combination of weird characters with different motives & connecting them to singular storyline is something which Quintin Tarantino has mastered in, & its pretty obvious director Kriv Stenders is a huge fan! But is that a good thing when you have such a simple non worthy plot to uphold everything? Not really. But lucky for him the film is so quick, its all over till you realize how mediocre the actual plot is! The main credit for that goes to the always awesome – Simon Pegg. The story follows Alice (Alice Braga), who everyone wants dead! Starting from her abusive husband Jack (Callan Mulvey) for cheating on him with garage owner Dylan (Luke Hemsworth), his sister Lucy (Teresa Palmer) and her dentist husband Nathan (Sullivan Stapleton) who owes money to a lowlife cop Bruce (Bryan Brown).
So they come up with a half-hatched plan to kill Alice, switch dental records, and claim insurance money. But when Jack hires professional assassin Charlie (Simon Pegg) to kill Alice, the latter sets mayhem in motion and they all drop like flies. And just like that, the film ends before it begins. The story is predictable as it focuses about the relationships of only a few characters. Maybe it’s because the acting level, or maybe because the overwhelming score, or maybe because all the characters strike as devious ones even from the very start. The movie somehow also tries a bit at Tarantino-styled blood and gore kill scenes. The scenes with Bruce and Lucy dying, and also the fight between Nathan and Wolfe feel very much like a tribute to Tarantino’s preferences. But suffice to say that this effort also wanes out because by doing so the movie makes it clear that it doesn’t really have a single focus of what to present to audience, a thriller or a comedy. Is it the intricate story, those blood and gore kills, or Pegg’s humor? Yet, the film fails to bore you, maybe it was due to the time-shuffling three-part segment that gets absurd by the minute. It can also be because the characters were so shallow, they turn out to be funny. There are no motivation for most of the things that happened, partly because there was no back story or setup for the things that happened. However seeing this conglomerate of idiots and Simon Pegg’s killer meet in Tarantino fashion was pretty enjoyable. It’s quite strange to have Simon Pegg on board as a lead, yet this movie can only achieve quite a low overall at the comedic side. It’s so because the movie feels so serious and only Pegg’s role has his character filled with humor. Sad to say, the humor mostly centers in Charlie Wolfe’s dialog lines, which makes it so predictable after a few minutes into the movie. Among the performances, Simon Pegg has perhaps the most fluent acting job in this movie. Teresa Palmer is actually good! She should pick up more negative roles.
Sullivan Stapleton lacks the face expressions to convey his role. Callan Mulvey and Alice Braga as experienced names also didn’t put out better acting as they should, let alone Luke Hemsworth, who is clearly struggling. The probable biggest flaw of the film is the overall direction and cinematography. It just wasn’t really good, there are some nice shots, but overall it looked like the makers were quite unsure on how to create a believable atmosphere. Even though when you would expect something predictable to happen, you are forced into scratching your head to certain aspects of the film & thinking why? Nevertheless, despite its set of flaws & bland elements, ‘Kill Me Three Times’ is mildly funny & entertaining & of course its always fun to watch Simon Pegg on lazy afternoon. While this movie may not be for loyal action or comedy movie fans, it is not intended to please everyone. You may enjoy if you can handle brutal action and have a dark sense of humor.
Director – Kriv Stenders
Rated – R
Run Time – 90 minutes