King of Killers
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 32m
Director(s): Kevin Grevioux
Writer(s): Kevin Grevioux
Cast: Frank Grillo, Alain Moussi, Stephen Dorff, Marie Avgeropoulos, Kevin Grevioux
Where To Watch: Releasing In Theaters, On Digital, and On Demand on September 1, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Buckle your seat belts as we dive into the neon-lit, high-stakes world of KING OF KILLERS, a new cinematic offering based partly on Kevin Grevioux's (who also wrote and directed the film) graphic novel universe. Our tour guide? None other than the profoundly mysterious Marcus Garan, brought to life by Alain Moussi. Marcus, who once was mixed up with the world of espionage and high-stakes gambling of human lives, is lured back into the cloak-and-dagger world he thought he left. The bait? A cool $10 million.
But hold on, Marcus is not alone on this scavenger hunt. Jorg Drakos (Frank Grillo) is also in on the fun, turning this into a more complex game. Imagine an elaborate chess game with deadly pieces converging on Tokyo. You see, the heart of this movie is a multilayered scramble where it’s hard to discern the hunters from the hunted. You’d need a Venn diagram to sort out who's double-crossing whom in this labyrinth of intrigue.
And speaking of Venn diagrams, let's talk about what intersects well in this movie—Frank Grillo. Even when he's not entirely 'in the moment,' his screen presence is magnetic. However, that's more than can be said for some other members of the cast, who often come off as one-dimensional, like poorly rendered supporting characters in a video game.
Then there's the CGI. A word to the wise: If you're going to splash the screen with digital blood, at least make it believable. This just proves that practical effects still have a purpose in the world. The special effects here are like magic tricks gone awry, pulling us out of the film’s narrative tension. They rob the movie of the grit and grime that could have been its hallmark, the mise-en-scène that would have breathed life into its universe.
While exciting in its foundational bones, the narrative often feels like a pastiche of other action movies we’ve all encountered before. It’s as if the film suffers from an identity crisis, wanting to pay homage but unsure of its unique voice. It's a shaky exercise in genre balancing. So, what could elevate it from being a mere echo? Here's a thought: anchor it with a strong character arc, especially for Marcus, who had so much potential. Diving into his emotional quagmires, his stakes, and his moral compass could have turned the narrative from interesting to memorable.
Still, KING OF KILLERS has its redeeming facets. You'll find yourselves edging closer to the screen as the convoluted plot unfolds, filled with double agents and betrayals galore. It could have been impressive if it managed to sustain this allure through sharper characters and less digital gimmickry.
KING OF KILLERS may not rewrite the action movie playbook, but it offers enough thrills to keep your heart rate up. This might be your pick if you want an easy weekend watch. Let's call it a slightly flawed yet engaging escapade for its intriguing set pieces and a commendable performance by Grillo.
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[photo courtesy of LIONSGATE]
MY SAG-AFTRA/WGA STRIKE STATEMENT:
As an advocate for creators, actors, and writers, I firmly stand with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in their current strike. The entertainment industry is built on these individuals' extraordinary talents, and their contributions must be appropriately recognized and rewarded. They deserve fair compensation, sensible work hours, and respect for their creative rights. I believe in the power of unity and collective action, and I'm steadfast in my support for their fight for better working conditions and fair remuneration. Together, we can shape a more equitable future in the entertainment world.
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