You Kill Me Review
John Dahl really arrived on the cinematic scene with 1994’s noirish cult thriller, featuring Linda Fiorentino in the role of a lifetime as femme fatale Bridget. The Last Seduction was masterly, following as it did the very promising Red Rock West, but since then its been a case of diminishing returns with the disappointing Rounders and little-seen Joy Ride and The Great Raid. Sadly You Kill Me continues this streak.
Frank (Kingsley) is a hitman and an alcoholic – a less than ideal combination – working in Buffalo. His drinking has finally gotten out of hand, and when he botches an important job, his employers finally lose patience and decide to send him to San Francisco to dry out and clean up his act. Frank doesn’t want to go, but his uncle (Baker Hall) makes it clear that he has no choice in the matter. On arriving on the East Coast, Frank meets Dave (Pullman), a fixer who has sorted out a job, an apartment, and a schedule of AA meetings. Frank is less than convinced by AA, but when he meets Laurel (Leoni) and begins a relationship with her, he begins to realise that he needs to change…
You Kill Me isn’t terrible by any means, it’s reasonably entertaining, but it isn’t funny or clever enough, or terribly original. All the characters feel a bit cardboard, especially Luke Wilson, completely wasted as Tom, Frank’s AA buddy and mentor. As for Frank himself, well, maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine many women falling for a drunken assassin. Or I can, but they would be the kind of women who marry men on Death Row, not women like Laurel. The matter-of-fact, low-rent presenation of the life of an assassin is mildly amusing, but the amount of booze sloshing around made me feel ill and the film basically failed to engage me emotionally. Acceptable, but not outstanding.
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