Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: BIG KILL

A tenderfoot from Philadelphia, two misfit gamblers on the run, and a deadly preacher have a date with destiny in a boom town gone bust called Big Kill.

0 of 8 viewers "Liked" "BIG KILL" (2019, USA)
Creature reviews have been minimally altered in an attempt to maintain their voice:

Huntress - "A formulaic western with no main character and a surprisingly high body count. BIG KILL looked really good and was well acted, but it could have used a sprinkle of new ideas to spice things up. But if you want to spend two hours living with a couple of characters in a small desert town, this one could be for you. I personally can't handle desert climate." - 2 Stars

The Impostor - "BIG KILL for me was a BIG waste of time and I felt it tried to BIG KILL me will boredom. Maybe it's because western films aren't my cup of tea or shot of Hennessy. In the 2 hour runtime, I had no idea what the story was even about. Just two guys in a town of 8 people and they all spend their time in the saloon. The music was laughable in the moments it were placed. Danny Trejo made his 2 min cameo 'n we never seen him again. Overall not the film for me and I would not recommend this." - 1 Star

Dr. Gonzo - "The title of this film is misleading, it was like I was watching a snooze fest. The iconic actors that were in BIG KILL couldn't save it. Lou Diamond Phillips and Jason Patrick, I grew up watching these guys. Legendary Danny Trejo had a cameo. Sorry, BIG KILL was disappointing. The writers had a good beginning but didn't really take it anywhere. No good special effects. Kills were boring, except for the quick shoot out scenes. Watching BIG KILL brought good memories of Young Guns, but BIG KILL is no comparison." - 2 Stars

Math Mage - "10 minutes of gunfighting with unintelligible dialogue lead us awkwardly into 115 minutes of nothing punctuated by absurd BGM." - 2 Stars

Lord Battle - *Spoiler* - "I'll admit I was pretty excited to see Danny Trejo and Lou Diamond Phillips in a gunfight... Spoiler, they don't even share a scene. I honestly doubt they even met on set. Actually was Danny Trejo even in this film?" - 2 Stars

Greyranger - "So earnest in its reverence for the classic western that it's too timid to give us anything new. A likable cast can't save the thing which is at least 30 minutes too long." - 2 Stars

KillDozer - "This was a real throwback western that stubbornly refused to tread any new ground. It managed to play the old-time western plots of the '50s completely straight. Jason Patrick and Lou Diamond Philips couldn't save what could have been a really fun watch. Big Kill would have played better as a made for TV mini-series. Big Kill aka Big Let Down." - 2 Stars

Wandering Panda - *Fell Asleep* - 2 Stars (Default)

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

BIG KILL made for a weird screening. I expected the initial questions about why we were screening a Western and I answered them by pointing out the fact it was called BIG KILL and stared Lou Diamon Phillips, Jason Patrick, and Danny Trejo. I think I said something along the lines of "How could it be boring?!".

Like the Math Mage mentions in his review, BIG KILL opens with a large shoot out. This would be great except that there was a distracting issue with the leads all sounding like they each had a mouth full of gravel. The very hard to understand dialogue overshadowed all of the gunfighting and betrayed BIG KILL's one potentially cool reveal...

Anyway, the creatures calmed down after the first 5 minutes but became concerned again when the characters seek shelter at a fort and have Danny Trejo turned away. I remember the joke being made that we'd never see him again... The film took an interesting turn here as we watch our now articulate leads make do in a makeshift bar in a border fort. I mentioned the possibilities for interesting stories here and after some hijinx, our characters are hired to lead an accountant to BIG KILL a town no one had ever heard of. If this sounds potentially cool to you, I'd have to agree. When the party has a travel montage backed by a humorous musical score and encounters some riders lead by Lou Diamond Phillips I still had high hopes! It wasn't until Mr. Diamond and his entourage had their 5 minutes and rode off that I became worried.

Upon reaching Big Kill (the town) it was clear that BIG KILL (the film) had peeked back at the fort. Big Kill (the town) looked like every other Hollywood low end studio western. One strip of buildings, a saloon on the corner, balconies that countless stunt doubles must have fallen from, and yet not a tumbleweed... or a pianist! BIG KILL (the film) was like Greyranger said, "so earnest in its reverence for the classic western" yet failing to capture the vibe. When I was younger I HATED westerns for pretty much the same reasons as The Impostor, I thought they were boring and full of talking. Then I learned about every film students favorite word: juxtaposition, and just how ripe the western genre was with them. The city vs wilderness, family vs the loner, the dry of the desert vs the moisture of the saloon (😉). BIG KILL explores none of this yet embodies what an 8-year-old Lord Battle and current day Impostor fear. A Hallmark drama in the desert, with occasional gunfire thrown in to keep the audience awake.

I'd like to note that the film was technically well crafted. The only complaint we had was about the mumbled speech early on, which honestly turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the film. Seriously what's worse? A low budget shit-show that has people laughing or a well made safe studio film that's uninspired and has a crowd of people sitting silently waiting... Oh and that cool reveal I mentioned earlier was when Jake Logan (Scott Martin) turned out to be an amazing gunslinger. After navigating the film as a nonviolent comic relief, this would have been an impactful reveal... Except they opened the damn movie with that stupid shoot out that I and everyone except for the Math Mage forgot about.

-Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a Residence for a screening on 3/28/2019
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not affect the rating.

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