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Killing Season (2013)

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Two veterans of the Bosnian War, one American, one Serbian, find their unlikely friendship tested when one of them reveals their true intentions.

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Evan Daugherty
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert De Niro ... Benjamin Ford
John Travolta ... Emil Kovac
Milo Ventimiglia ... Chris Ford
Elizabeth Olin Elizabeth Olin ... Sarah Ford
Diana Lyubenova Diana Lyubenova ... Elena
Kalin Sarmenov Kalin Sarmenov ... Serbian
Stefan Shterev Stefan Shterev ... Bar Customer
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Storyline

Killing Season tells the story of two veterans of the Bosnian War, one American, one Serbian, who clash in the Appalachian Mountain wilderness. FORD is a former American soldier who fought on the front lines in Bosnia. When our story begins, he has retreated to a remote cabin in the woods, trying to escape painful memories of war. The drama begins when KOVAC, a former Serbian soldier, seeks Ford out, hoping to settle an old score. What follows is a cat-and-mouse game in which Ford and Kovac fight their own personal World War III, with battles both physical and psychological. By the end of the film, old wounds are opened, suppressed memories are drawn to the surface and long-hidden secrets about both Ford and Kovac are revealed. Written by producer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The purest form of war is one on one.

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, some torture, and language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA | Belgium | Bulgaria

Language:

English | Serbian

Release Date:

25 July 2013 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Shrapnel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,713, 14 July 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$27,713, 14 July 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Benjamin (Robert De Niro) emerges from the rapids and seeks shelter in a nearby cave, the survival techniques he uses are all authentic. He urinates on his leg wound to disinfect it as urine contains salts and ammonia. He later uses a medicinal herb poultice under a bandage to facilitate the safe healing of the wound. He sanitized water by boiling it, then makes pine tea to further warm his body core to prevent hypothermia setting in. The fire pit he digs is taught in military special forces, who adopted it from the Native Americans. Commonly known as a "Dakota" fire pit. It is two chambers dug into the ground roughly elbow deep that join at the bottom in a "V", with the excavated dirt mounded at the rims. The larger chamber contains the fire, while the narrower one provides airflow at the base. The value of the fire pit is that it conceals firelight, as well as has the ability to be instantly extinguished and concealed by pushing the excavated dirt back in. This makes it very valuable to a soldier for escape and evasion. The knife used in the film is a Gerber LHR combat knife. Now discontinued and a collectible. See more »

Goofs

(at around 34 mins) In the hunting scene the number of arrows in Emil Kovac's quiver is not consistent with his shooting. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Emil Kovac: For 18 years I have waited.
[stands to leave]
Serbian: So what now?
Emil Kovac: Hunting. I am going hunting.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Killing Season' (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Metalicker
Written by Barbie McDonald
Published by Engine Co 30
Music Publishing (BMI)
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two acting heavyweights and an interesting story that squanders its potential in the dumbest possible ways.
18 March 2016 | by Andrew GoldSee all my reviews

I was expecting to despise this movie. I only watched it because I was in the mood to see a bad De Niro movie, so the one where he's opposite Travolta playing a Serbian seemed to fit the criteria perfectly. But I was actually on board for the first 15 or so minutes of Killing Season. De Niro's character is off in a cabin isolated from his family and still recovering from the effects the Bosnian war had on him however many years ago, and Travolta's character is out for vengeance because he was left for dead in the same war on the opposing side. It's a simple enough premise. And there's one interesting scene where De Niro and Travolta are drinking and sharing war stories where you actually feel some tension but mutual respect building between them. Kind of like Pacino and De Niro in Heat (a blasphemous comparison but it's the first thing that came to mind). Anyway, I wanted more of that.

But as soon as that's over, the movie turns into a cat-and-mouse game between the two of them that consists of one of them getting captured and tortured, then they somehow escape and the chase continues until the other guy gets captured and tortured, then they somehow escape and the cycle continues. It's just dumb and predictable. And let's talk about the accents for a minute. Travolta doesn't even have a bad accent. Mind you I don't know how authentic of a Serbian accent it is, but the accent itself is convincing enough. The problem is that he uses the same intonation for everything he says. At one point he's literally shot in the f*cking face and the next minute he's talking in exactly the same tone as before. And De Niro does this southern accent that drifts in and out, and you can tell he's just there for a paycheck because he's not even trying to pull it off convincingly. Hell it was more believable in Machete. And the special effects, holy god they're awful. They'll randomly cut to a close up of a wound and it just looks terrible. It's gratuitous, and I don't mind gratuity all that much but when you can clearly tell something is CGI, there's no excuse for that to make it in the final cut. It's unnecessary, it looks like crap, get it out of there.

So yeah, I ended up disliking the movie but not for the reasons I was expecting. Travolta's accent wasn't the worst part of the movie like I thought it'd be. The story was quite interesting but it gets resolved in the most half-assed way, like there's absolutely no pathos when there so easily could have been seeing as how it's about two opposing war vets encountering each other after all this time. I mean, it's not a terrible movie. It really isn't. De Niro has had much worse, so has Travolta. But there are glimpses of potential all over this movie that get squandered in the dumbest possible ways, and that itself makes Killing Season a frustrating watch.


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