Will Will Kill – 3.5 stars
It’s the height of audacity to incorporate your name into the title of your film. Imagine High Plains Clint or Reservoir Quentins? Eastwood and Tarantino aren’t exactly shrinking violets, but there are limits and there is etiquette.
Will Larroca dispenses with both in his sophomore feature, Will Will Kill.
The title not only suggests hubris, but an homage to Tarantino. He’s not quite there yet.
Still, this is leaps and bounds above Larroca’s first feature, The Monster. For several reasons.
First, The Monster provided us the chilling visage of Reid Brown as a crazed ghost. Here, he’s criminal mastermind Rico Brown, and he is again pretty damned chilling. Something about that shock of red hair makes it easy for you to put your guard down.
Second, the acting is generally first-rate, and Larroca smartly casts actors who look distinct.
Third, on a shoestring budget, I was impressed by the low-tech approach. It felt real. Visceral.
Finally, I was intrigued by the approach, derivative as it was.
Still, there are problems.
Why do Larroca’s characters always wear hoodies? Is this some kind of Trayvon Martin deal?
Why the finger in the camera? Is it amateurism or something else?
Why is Larroca’s vision of a clone-infested future so mundane? Is the future really as bad as all that? Does everyone wear shorts?
Why would a clone engage in a samurai fight with a hand in his pocket?
Who rides a train to Las Vegas?
Would Rico Brown really have a tag coming out of his shirt?
Again, the word is that Larroca is working with a bigger budget and should have a fall release of his third picture.
It better be special or he may go the way of David Caruso.
Another esteemed reviewer weighs in.
I agree it’s an excellent recovery from The Monster. I particularly liked the auteur’s use of black and white film, shifting chronologies, and incorporating a Matrix-like move into a Kill Bill-sword fight. I also like how he used the famous poison cup scene from The Princess Bride in a novel fashion. The best story tellers always borrow from the best sources.
I agree that the acting was first rate. When one of the characters dies in the film, it’s heartrending. Even the death of the guard clone at the end was affecting. I wasn’t terribly bothered, though, by a clone fighting with a hand in his pocket because I just felt that’s what clones do in this world. Sometimes you just have to go with it. No one asks why Agent Smith has to wear sunglasses in dimly lit rooms, for example. He just does.
On the negative side, I could have used a lot more blood in the fight scenes. It was a little too PG for my taste. I think the marketers need to aim for a mature audience in their sequel.
Good points. I suppose that is what clones do in this world.
I believe that above all, it was a necessary recovery and the direction is up. But the omens are grim. Superman, The Great Gatsby, White House Down, The Lone Ranger . . . And soon, his third film, which is big budget and mired in development.
He shows real talent and ambition, so here’s hoping he can avoid those common Hollywood pitfalls.