Thursday, September 11, 2014

Film Review: Killing Season (2013)

Killing Season (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...starts off promising, but that promise is quickly broken."

Military veteran Ford (Robert De Niro) crosses paths with former Serbian soldier Emil (John Travolta), who has hidden intentions...

Killing Season begins with a very slow but effective buildup. Emil tracks Ford and befriends him, Ford being oblivious to Emil's true identity. They share regular stories, war stories, and drinks. Eventually, Emil reveals his intentions, and a violent game of cat and mouse ensues. At this point, the film becomes repetitive and often boring. Emil captures and tortures Ford, then Ford captures and tortures Emil, and repeat... and repeat. There are some exiting moments, but not much. It continues this stale formula until its underwhelming climax and mediocre ending; the ending goes on and on, too.

Killing Season simply doesn't offer much by any perspective. The first act, albeit somewhat interesting and engaging, overstays its welcome and sets the slow mood. The cat-and-mouse game is violent and bloody, but it's not engaging or even entertaining -- I'd even say it's too simple and easy to be considered a true cat-and-mouse game. It doesn't get much help from the uneventful story and dreadfully slow pace, either. That's really all it is: Ford hunts Emil, Emil hunts Ford. The story is thin, as are the characters. It sure is a beautiful film, but if offers nothing "art house" -- nothing contemplative or symbolic -- I think the art house is better left to the pros, like Kim Ki-duk.

Robert De Niro is good, I like him in this. John Travolta, on the other hand, is mediocre; the accent simply didn't feel authentic, at all; it sounds like the accent I'd make when I impersonate a Russian. The film looks beautiful, though; the cinematography does well in capturing the lush and vivid environment. The music was great, too. Director Mark Steven Johnson fails to conjure any satisfying action, and the uneventful story is severely hurt by the dreadful pacing; Johnson isn't only to blame, though, as writer Evan Daugherty pens an uneventful screenplay dominated by boring, albeit beautiful, scenes of the scenery.

Overall, Killing Season is a boring film. It starts off promising, but that promise is quickly broken. The film spirals into a repetitive formula of boredom and false sense of artistry. It's a beautiful film to look at, but the story and characters are ridiculously hollow -- the story may as well be nonexistent. By the way, the short 1 hour 30 minute runtime may seem attractive, but the film really feels longer than two hours.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

No comments:

Post a Comment