KILLERMAN / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: MALIK BADER / STARRING: LIAM HEMSWORTH, EMORY COHEN, DIANE GUERRERO / CERT: 15 / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
After a drug deal goes wrong, Moe Diamond finds himself waking up with little memory of the past. Suffering from a state of amnesia with a bag load of money and drugs in his possession, he must scour the streets in search of answers whilst trying to keep himself alive at whatever the cost. Written and directed by Malik Bader, Killerman is a gritty crime thriller that throws subtlety out the window in favour of crime cliches from the past. As one might have guessed from the film's title, Bader’s latest offering doesn’t shy away from living up to its hard-boiled roots by combining mystery and intrigue with dollops of bloody violence throughout.
The cast and crew have been able to do a great job at setting the tone thanks in part to some fantastic cinematography by Ken Seng, who perfectly captures the raw and gritty underbelly of New York City. The grim and cold aesthetic is heightened further when combined with Julian DeMarre and Heiko Maile’s music, which does a superb job at elevating all the events that gradually unfold. The synthy repetition of the film's score is able to heighten the suspense and add an element of gravity to the hardened performances by Liam Hemsworth and Emory Cohen.
However, it's a shame that they haven’t much to work with as the script at times feels undercooked and with a running time of just under two hours, one does wonder whether a rewrite may have helped make the film more palatable with a wider audience. Luckily, Rick Grayson’s slice and dice editing does enough to keep us hooked to the volatile action on display and keep us somewhat entertained. For a low budget production, Bader has done a fantastic job at setting the tone to this gutsy throwback thriller.
Ultimately, it’s a shame that the script lets the film down as with paper-thin characters, one does find it hard to care about much of the action that takes place. Luckily the villains are despicable enough to warrant us to stick around to the end and see what fate ultimately has in store for them. A propulsive low budget thriller, what Killerman lacks in substance, it more than makes up for in style. Tether your expectations and you might just find yourself bowled over by this bold and brutish caper.