NEW Killshot (DVD)
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his movie with Don Johnson (Harley Davidson & the Marlboro Man).
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First off, I enjoyed the film because of it's setup. The locations were excellent (my grandparents stay in Algonac, Michigan, so seeing portions of that and Detroit in the movie are awesome.) I also thought the casting was excellent too; you didn't hate Rourke despite the fact that he was a violent person and Levitt's character was one you LOVED to hate. The movie was intense but not entirely predictable like most action films are. In the end, you have a movie that feels like an action-romance story that could be equally intriguing as either or despite how violent the movie is.
What bums me out is what we didn't see in the film. The film wrapped post-production up in 2006(!!!) but didn't get to see the a wide release because many felt the story was confusing (and it can be at times; but this is a movie that's meant to watched twice.) This lead to any and all scenes involving Johnny Knoxville (who played the role of a Deputy) to be removed from the film entirely. I would have loved to have seen the uncut version of this film but for continuity purposes, this is the film that was provided to us.
All and all though, it's still one that's worth checking out and recommended to people who'd want to see what an action/romance film would look like.
KILLSHOT is a perfectly decent thriller, with a wonderful premise that, though not wholly believable, is at least interesting and original. I haven't read the novel yet, though I plan to do so; I have a feeling the novel (written by the illustrious Elmore Leonard) explores the thematic potentials more fully than the film, which at times feels like a mish-mash of scenes rather than one solid whole. (This can be blamed on the long delay; I first saw previews for KILLSHOT years--literally years--ago.) The script itself is fairly solid, except for a few cliched lines of dialogue; there are a few genuine surprises, and even some damned-fine humor and action sequences.
Thomas Jane is solid as usual (I won't say "always;" he's had some clunker roles in the past, though it's usually the film's fault and not his), and Diane Lane manages to steal quite a few scenes. Overall, though, the film rests squarely on the broad shoulders of Mickey Rourke, who is delightfully sinister, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is overly campy and thoroughly enjoyable. The interaction between the two isn't quite fleshed out like it should be (and their relationship isn't at all believable; a pro like Degas would never hook up with a small-time punk like Nix, no matter how much the latter resembles the former's deceased kid brother), but each actor holds his own in different ways: Rourke shows his mastery of restraint (watch THE WRESTLER for another example of this talent, albeit under extremely different circumstances), and Gordon-Levitt has one hell of a good time camping it up, letting his character's long hair and unjustified ego fly.
KILLSHOT isn't quite what it could have been, but it's still a solid film that's worth a look or two. It's quick and suspenseful; if you can overlook some of its logistics errors, it's an entertaining thriller that offers some solid acting and an interesting plot.
Sadly, the film doesn't get any extras nor do we get a "Director's Cut" with the excised footage restored. "Killshot" is an enjoyable thriller and it's a pity Madden's original version didn't get a chance to play in theaters or even on home video in its original form.
2008's comeback kid Mickey Rourke plays Armand "Blackbird" Degas, a half-Native American hitman riddled with guilt over accidentally killing his younger brother. A chance encounter with eccentric, loud-mouthed criminal Richie Nix (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) leads Blackbird to helping Richie get $20,000 from a real estate guy. Their plan goes awry when they mistake Wayne (Thomas Jane) for their guy. Now, with the police after them and both Wayne and his estranged wife Carmen (Diane Lane) having seen their faces; Blackbird and Richie have two relatively significant problems to get rid of.
The film's set-up and execution are nothing new for films in this "crime-thriller" genre, but it does have two memorable villains. Both Jane and Lane do exactly what the script asks of them. They play the confused, paranoid victims whose marriage is in shambles. But, this film belongs to Rourke and Gordon-Levitt.
Rourke is terrific, as I expected. What's really impressive is that many actor's would have taken a very wooden approach to this role. Rourke brings charm and vulnerability to it. Blackbird is not a sympathetic character, but Rourke makes you like him in spite of yourself.
Gordon-Levitt gives a high-energy performance, to say the least. Gordon-Levitt takes Richie beyond maniacal and goes over-the-top psychotic. Quite simply, he's overacting. I don't think any actor could play this role with even a hint of subtlety and he does create a very sadistic, unlikeable character. For some actor's, saying they were overacting would be saying there was a fault in their performance. Gordon-Levitt makes it work though. He's without a doubt one of the most talented young actor's working today.
Quentin Tarantino's longtime producer Laurence Bender produced the flick and author Elmore Leonard serves as executive producer which I think does show that there were people who had faith in the project. I think that if a director's cut were ever to see the light of day it wouldn't make much of a difference. I haven't read Leonard's novel and I've never heard anyone who has call it a masterpiece. I don't see this film being much better than it is now. Killshot is a well-acted, well-made, and entertaining crime film. It's not perfect and I don't believe it could be. However, it's not a waste of time and I think those who enjoy Elmore Leonard's books and 90s-era Tarantino films will find something to enjoy here.