Friday, July 5, 2013

Film Review: Killer Joe (2011)

Killer Joe (Review)
United States/2011
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Chris has been kicked out of his mother's home, so he visits his father, Ansel, with a proposition. Chris wants to kill his mother to receive her $50,000 life insurance policy which is to be paid to Dottie, Chris' eccentric younger sister; Chris owes money to dangerous people, and Ansel wouldn't mind having extra money. So, they agree to meet a police detective, Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), who works as a hitman on his spare time...

Now, they can't afford to pay Joe's $25,000 advance, but they have something he wants. Joe would like to keep Dottie as a retainer, and, without any other options, they reluctantly agree. Chris must either keep the deal on the table and save his own life, or drop the deal and save Dottie from Joe's manipulative hands.

Killer Joe is an insane crime drama, drenched in black comedy. With some very immersive dialogue, the film really captivates from beginning to end - from the planning, to the execution, to the insane finale. The film is heavily reliant on its dialogue, and it works perfectly thanks to the great performances. It's able to keep its strong momentum, with a ferocious pace. The characters are developed well as dysfunctional. The ending is jaw-dropping, ending in a bath of blood and humiliation; an unforgettable ending, indeed.

The story is strongly supported by its stunning performance. Matthew McConaughey delivers a sinisterly charismatic performance as the titular character; it is unbelievably evil yet charming, his dialogue delivery is chilling, especially during the incredible ending. Juno Temple as Dottie also captures her character with her eccentric performance. The rest of the cast delivers amazing performances, although some dialogue comes off as inauthentic - a bit robotic.

William Friedkin superbly directs Killer Joe with great precision. The writing is mostly authentic and accurate, the black comedy blended seamlessly with the story never feeling forced or falling flat. The film captures the southern style, and uses the setting well. The music works with the film, although it's not used strongly; a little more southern oomph would've been appreciated.

Overall, Killer Joe is a fantastic black comedy/drama; it's almost perfect in every way, an unforgettable experience. McConaughey is a pillar for the film as he delivers a performance of a lifetime; this is a film that made me take him seriously, as well as the Lincoln Lawyer. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, sex and excessive nudity.

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