Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. BoboVision’s turning into one of our more aggressive test screening reviewers, and I always enjoy hearing from him. Tonight, he’s got an early look at a film that has been “coming soon” for a while now. I’m not sure when this one’s set for release, but I remember it was set for a Christmas 2006 date at one point. It’s not automatically a bad film because it was delayed, but it certainly raises the question. So, BoboVision... how is it?
Hey Moriarty, Bobo_Vision here. Tonight I attended a screening of the movie 'Killshot' starring Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Rosario Dawson, and Joseph Gordon Leavitt (whom I'll refer to as JGL henceforth), directed by John Madden (Proof, Shakespeare in Love), and based on an Elmore Leonard novel. Apparently, Johnny Knoxville is part of the cast too, but he must be on the cutting room floor because he was nowhere in sight on the moviescreen. I almost saw this movie a couple months ago, but was given a pass to see 'Disturbia' instead (which I walked out of after an hour), so I was thrilled that I got another opportunity to preview this film. The thing which excited me most about this movie was the cast. I loved JGL in 'Brick', and his career will be one to watch. Mickey Rourke is one of those actors who has talent, and was once a leading man, but is now relegated to supporting roles in B-movies, but when given the right material, he still shines (like black tar) and gives great performances (like in 'Sin City'). Diane and Mickey both starred in one of my favourite films, Rumblefish, back when they were much younger. So it is interesting to see the two of them pair up in this movie, and they are no longer the same people (although Lane is still a fine piece). Mickey Rourke plays Armand "The Blackbird" Degas, a half Ojibway Indian, half French Canadian hitman who doesn't like loose ends, and tends to kill anyone who witnesses him while he's on the job. Joseph Gordon Leavitt plays a criminal upstart with a southern drawl who tries to extort money from a real estate agency by trashing their homes for sale and demanding a fee to stop. As an added threat, he tells the executive at the agency he will come to his office and kill him if he doesn't pay up. Thomas Jane plays a steel worker and Diane Lane's estranged husband who gets mistaken for the real estate executive when Rourke and JGL show up to collect their extortion money at the agency where Lane works. Jane manages to fend them off, sending them on the run, but with a new agenda to have both Jane and Lane killed since they've seen Rourke's face. Rourke's mangled physiognomy probably prevents him from getting many roles since he is no longer the pretty boy he once was, but here it does him a great service. His prominent cheekbones and jowls give him the appearance of someone who could actually be an American Indian, and his misshapen nose and angular features give him the appearance of someone who has taken a few too many blows to the face with the butt of a rifle. This is a role he was not necessarily born to play, but one Rourke has grown into as a result of whatever rocky path his life (and his face) took. JGL is hilarious, intentionally so, as a wannabe hitman who is trying to appear more menacing than he really is. Rosario Dawson doesn't have a whole lot to do in this movie. She plays JGL's live-in girlfriend who has a thing for Elvis. She looks like a crack-whore as this character, and phones in her performance for the minutes she's on-screen. I enjoyed this movie, mostly because I loved the characters played by Joseph Gordon Leavitt and Mickey Rourke, but this movie is not without its flaws. Most of these involve plot points which I'll outline now. For starters, the premise on which Rourke has to kill Jane and Lane is flimsy. There isn't even a hit out on them. He merely claims he must kill them because they saw his face when he tagged along on JGL's botched extortion attempt. Rourke didn't even draw his gun during the scene but merely escorted JGL, so it doesn't stand to reason why he would go through so much trouble to assassinate two people when they didn't really witness him doing anything. Second, the Feds put Jane and Lane in a witness protection program, and during this time, the Feds tell them to their horror that Rourke belongs to the "Toronto Mafia". That's right. As in Toronto, Canada. Now, being a Canuck myself, even I found this laughable. Its about as scary as someone being part of an organization called the Saskatoon Hitmen. Or the MooseJaw Assassins. Using a country as peaceful as Canada to be the home of the film's bad guy is not helping the character's street cred any. Third, the protagonists in this movie are much less interesting than the baddies. Jane and Lane are about as dull as a W.A.S.P.y steel worker and real estate agent can get. Rourke and JGL are more interesting and likeable, so this eliminates much of the tension since I found myself not really caring if Lane and Jane got killed or not. Mix these problems together with some other implausible plot points and it creates some major problems for the movie's storyline. All this being said, I liked this movie. This is a B-movie, and as far as B-movies go, its pretty good. If you go to this movie with that mindset, and accept that the plot is somewhat absurd, you'll enjoy it and have a pretty good time. Expect more, and you might be disappointed. Bobo_Vision