2015 – Various unsympathetic characters get involved in a surprisingly uncomplicated series of violent crimes.
On the off chance that he gets drunk one night and decides to peruse obscure blog reviews of movies he was involved with, I’m going to lead off by saying that I’m a huge Simon Pegg fan. The entire “Three Flavours Cornetto” trilogy rank among my favorite movies of all time. If there was one guy I could pick to hang out with and talk movies, writing, and comedy with, it’d probably be him.
So, when I saw that he’d be playing a ruthless hit man (with an absurd mustache), I went all in on Kill Me Three Times. Even the title had me pumped – it just sounds so COOL. I envisioned a slick, funny, violent crime film – something like Grosse Pointe Blank (another one of my favorites… although I wouldn’t want to hang out with John Cusack because his tiny little mouth is very unsettling).
It didn’t take long for mild disappointment to sink in. The movie wasn’t bad, mind you. It was just… unfulfilling. It has the trappings of a black comedy but fails to deliver the laughs. It has the characteristics of a crime thriller but presents a simplistic, unexciting plot. Perhaps worst of all, it mimics the look, sound, and feel of an early Quentin Tarantino flick while feeling even more empty and derivative.
Here’s the plot: a Bar Owner (I’m skipping the character names since they all blended together after a while) hires Pegg to kill his Cheating But Virtuous Wife (CBVW for short). At the same time, Gambling Dentist and his Bitch Wife (who is Bar Owner’s sister) are being threatened by Corrupt Cop because they owe him money. They decide to kill CBVW in a staged car wreck, disguising the body as Bitch Wife so they can collect on an insurance policy. But there’s a twist: CBVW doesn’t die.
That is the movie’s ONLY twist. For all the promise of its amazing title and charismatic star, Kill Me Three Times barely qualifies as a thriller. The only characters out to get each other are exactly the ones you’d expect – there are no surprise double-crosses, hidden schemes, or mind-blowing revelations. Along the way we get plenty of 60s-sounding music, retro cars, and swearing, but nothing to really hold the attention.
Instead of a clever and engaging plot, the movie just does the Tarantino show-the-events-out-of-order thing. The only mild surprises the movie provides come from it being shown in a sequence of 2-1-3 instead of 1-2-3. The other day I was doing possibly the whitest thing ever and watching a Youtube video of Peter Bogdanivoch talking about Orson Welles… I mean, look at this:
Peter (the slightly more boring-looking guy on the right) says: “I really hate films that they make now which are told backward, or from the ending forward or from the middle, or you have to really be a genius to follow it…” You don’t have to be a genius to follow Kill Me Three Times, but what does the movie gain from being shown out-of-order? It’s a crutch to cover up the fact that, if we actually watched everything in the proper sequence, there would be no interest at all.
One of the few things I really enjoyed was the Hot Fuzz stabbing reference:
I must also note that, although the movie is called Kill Me Three Times (the “me” being the wife everyone’s trying to kill), there’s really only one murder attempt (and it’s only shown twice, from two different perspectives). So what’s with the “three times” thing?
This movie gets a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has a 6%. Come on, people. Have a little perspective.