Beautiful Carmen Colson and her ironworker husband Wayne are placed in the Federal Witness Protection program after witnessing an "incident". Thinking they are at last safe, they are targeted by an experienced hit man and a psychopathic young upstart killer. The ensuing struggle will test Carmen to the limit.
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Beautiful Carmen Colson and her ironworker husband Wayne are placed in the Federal Witness Protection program after witnessing an extortion scheme go wrong. Thinking they are at last safe, they are targeted by an experienced intimidating hit man and a psychopathic young upstart killer. The ensuing struggle will test Carmen to the limit. Written by
Despite it's flaws, "Killshot" is not a total dead loss.
KILLSHOT with Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson and Hal Holbrook, directed by John Madden.
MICKEY Rourke's intense and interesting performance as a troubled hit-man lifts this structurally flawed adaptation of Elmore Leonard's gritty crime novel. Directed by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love"), the film is never as much fun as the book, which was a violent, witty and richly enjoyable slice of ultra-sleazy pulp fiction. But, despite all it's fault (the movie was completed in 2006, but is only being released now), "Killshot" is not a total dead loss and is likely to be enjoyed by genre fans who approach it with low expectations. Oscar-nominee Rourke ("The Wrestler") plays Armand "The Blackbird" Degas ,a veteran, half Indian hit-man for the Toronto mob who slays his boss's girlfriend during a hit. Returning to the rural area where he was raised, he pairs up with dim-witted young psychopath Richie Nix (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Then, when, when the lovely Carmen Colson (a sexy, effective Diane Lane) sees Armand's face during a botched crime, he decides she must die. And the chase is on. "Killshot is a rather messy film that shows evidence of post-production edits and re-shoots, but Armand, Carmen and Richie are classic Leonard characters, there're one or two good shoot-outs and at least the films retains some of the master crime writer's wonderful trademark dialogue. Nice scenery too. As a Leonard fanatic, I wouldn't have missed the chance to see this on the big screen for anything (it's been given a national cinema release in South Africa - not a huge one, but way bigger than five screens in Phoenix ). I wasn't expecting much, so I certainly was not disappointed. Quite a bit of the book comes through and although Gordon-Levitt - usually one of my favourite young actors - sometimes goes to far over the top, the supporting cast is pretty good. Thomas Jane and (a totally miscast) Rosario Dawson have some nice moments and there's a cool cameo by the great Hal Holbrook . However, the interaction between Armand and Carmen Colson is nowhere near as intriguing as in the book (perhaps this has something to do with the notorious Weinstein scissors) and even though the picture has been pruned to 84 minutes it still drags in the second half. Reading Elmore Leonard's website the other night, I noticed that the maestro has seen the film (apparently a 100-minute cut) and seems to have enjoyed it, which tells us something. This flawed, but watchable (there's a good film lurking in there somewhere) movie should have been released to more cinemas in the States. Sadly, it doesn't look as if that's going to happen, but I can tell you one thing. It's going to be a solid renter when it hits DVD. Hopefully the distributor will release both this 84-minute cut and a longer version on disc. And let's hope we get to see Johnny Knoxville's deleted scenes, and a director commentary. But I suppose it will only come out in a vanilla version shorn of special features.
My Rating: 6 out of 10 (on the big screen).
PS. Drop the score down to 5/10 for the DVD - I've now seen the (South African release)DVD which in the 1.78 aspect ration ratio rather than 2.35.1 and looks shoddy compared to how it looked on the big screen. The film really falls to pieces on a second viewing.
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