Kill

There has never been a more appropriately titled movie than Kill. After a 15-minute set-up of the plot, the film is nothing but killing. I have no idea how it got away with an R rating. This Hindi-language drama is easily one of the most violent motion pictures I’ve ever seen. If you’re automatic response to that is “I’ve gotta see this!” then, yes, you’ve gotta see this. Easily offended viewers might want to steer clear. Action fans looking for a lightning-fast dose of hardcore, take-no-prisoners mayhem are going to lose their minds.

Amrit (Lakshya) is an army commando madly in love with Tulika (Tanya Maniktala). She, however, is being forced into an arranged marriage by her father, a wealthy and influential businessman. The two plan to meet up in Delhi, the location of her wedding, so they can run off together. Amrit alters the plan, deciding to hop the same train that’s taking Tulika and her entire family there. Also on board is a family of bandits – over 30 in total – led by Fani (Raghav Juyal). They begin robbing everyone, so Amrit and his fellow commando Viresh (Abhishek Cauhan) start fighting back.

What follows is a bloodbath, with characters punching, kicking, and stabbing one another. We’ve seen this type of rapid-fire martial arts fighting in other movies, such as the John Wick series. The thing that distinguishes Kill is that the fighting takes place entirely in cramped train cars. Director Nihil Nagesh Bhat has to find ways to stage the chaos in claustrophobic settings. An especially impressive sequence finds Amrit taking on two assailants inside a tiny train bathroom. They barely have room to swing at each other, and that gives the fight a unique impact.

Kill also has more knife fights than Mamma Mia! had ABBA songs. Body parts are slashed left and right. A couple killings are more unusual, like the poor guy who dies by having the contents of a fire extinguisher emptied into his mouth. All this carnage is presented in a slick, stylish manner filled with quick edits and dizzying camera movements. The cumulative effect is that the film plays like someone injected adrenaline into your veins.

What is the appeal of movies that enthusiastically depict graphic violence? Wes Craven once said that horror movies don’t create fear, they release it. That makes sense. Likewise, I would argue that pictures like Kill release aggression. There’s a simple good-versus-bad mentality to them. We watch the villains commit a couple upsetting acts, then get catharsis from seeing the hero eviscerate them. Fani and his crew are sufficiently loathsome that they deserve what’s coming to them. Is it weird to say you might actually feel relaxed when it’s over?

There’s pleasure in noticing the skill in front of and behind the camera, too. Kill is dazzlingly choreographed in its fight scenes. The performances are effective. It has a style and flow that hold your attention. Even though the plot is one-note, those qualities let this hyperviolent picture cast a brutal, bloody spell over you.


β˜† β˜† β˜† out of four

Kill is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, grisly images, and language. The running time is 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Universal

© 2024 Mike McGranaghan