is easier to find a good hitman than a good dentist in this small Australian beachfront
town. Unfortunately, Nathan Webb is not much of a DDS, but Charlie Wolfe is a
highly reliable assassin. Both are out to kill Alice Taylor, but the defiant
wife is surprisingly hard to kill, as the title indicates. Still, there will be
plenty of other bodies piling up in Kriv Stenders’ Kill Me Three Times (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
Alice Taylor has been unfaithful to her husband Jack, but it was as much a
reaction against his abusive and hyper-controlling behavior as it was an
attraction to likable lunk-head Dylan Smith. True to form, when Taylor says if
he can’t have her, nobody can, he really means it. Initially, he only retained the
hired gun to investigate her suspected affair, but when Wolfe provides the
confirmation, Taylor contracts his full services.
if that were not bad enough, Alice Taylor’s dentist also plans to bump her off.
Nathan Webb has a mountain of past-due gambling debts. Most inconveniently, his
bookie’s brother happens to be Bruce Jones, the local corrupt copper, who aims
to collect. The plan is to stage a fiery car crash rendering Taylor
unrecognizable, allowing Webb to collect on his scheming wife Lucy’s insurance policy
when he switches their dental records. Obviously, these two plans will
complicate each other.
so let the conspiring and double-crossing commence. Arguably, there is nothing
radically new in James McFarland’s screenplay, but he keeps the mayhem coming
fast and furious. It also helps that Simon Pegg sets the tone right from the
start, playing Wolfe with maniacal glee. He makes contract killing look like a
ton of fun, which might hold less than wonderful implications for the social
compact, but it works like a charm in a genre film. Likewise, Teresa Palmer
makes a seriously impressive villain in the Lady Macbeth tradition as the
equally sociopathic Lucy Webb. Yet, Bryan Brown tops them all for ruthlessness
as the stone cold Jones.
there are not a lot of “likable” characters in KM3T, but that way nobody should get too upset when misfortune and
painful death starts to befall the motley crew. Logically, given their
relatively straight roles, Alice Braga’s Taylor and Luke Hemsworth’s Smith (the
other, other Hemsworth) are the least interesting characters. Frankly, Pegg is
the star here and Palmer will get the potential breakout attention. However,
fans will be amused to see Sullivan Stapleton (best known for hardnosed work in
Strike Back and Animal Kingdom, as Webb, the acquiescent loser.
Australia’s sun-drenched beaches still look
quite inviting, despite all the skulduggery Stenders unleashes. He lets the
driving rock soundtrack and Pegg’s evil smirk set the vigorous pace and never
looks in the rearview mirror. It is quite a lot of fun if you do not object to
shamelessly violent humor (and what’s not to like about it?). Recommended for
fans of blackly comic one-darned-thing-after-another thrillers, Kill Me Three Times opens this Friday
(4/10) in New York, at the Landmark Sunshine.
Labels: Australian cinema, Bryan Brown, Simon Pegg