Bullet Points: Killshot
You may or may not remember the movie Killshot starring Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Thomas Jane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Rosario Dawson. You might be thinking to yourself that that is one impressive cast. It might also excite you to know that this film was based on a novel by Elmore Leonard. Leonard was responsible for writing the novels that spawned such movies as Jackie Brown, 3:10 to Yuma, Joe Kidd, Be Cool, and Get Shorty. That is a pretty impressive list, so you if you’re anything like me you expect Killshot to be an entertaining and exciting watch. Well….I guess I didn’t hate it. So in celebration of Mickey Rourke’s birthday, here is my BULLET POINTS on Killshot!
The Gist: Killshot finds our Midwestern, middle-aged couple of Carmen (Diane Lane) and Wayne (Tom Jane) struggling to keep their marriage from collapsing. After witnessing a failed attempt at extortion by mafia hit man “Blackbird” (Mickey Rourke) and upstart psychopath Richie (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the two are forced to go into Witness Protection until they are finally drawn out by the killers and brought head-on into a collision course with the criminals.
Probably the two least average looking 45 year old actors they could have cast.
The Cast: Just from reading the back of the DVD case, I thought to myself, “Wow, they really got some quality actors in this piece.” I think they could have gone a bit younger with the couple in this one. I mean, I think that Diane Lane is gorgeous but she is pushing 50 now and it gets hard for me to believe sometimes that JGL is all googly-eyed for her the way he is. Lane and Jane do a good job of playing a couple whose relationship is on its last leg. Jane has been staying in a hotel and we’re never really given the definitive answer as to whether or not they get back together. I guess that isn’t the point of the movie, but it’s nice to tie up loose ends before you just end a flick and roll the credits, which is what this felt like. With all of the scenes showing law enforcement in this movie, they sure did a shit job of finding and stopping the killers.
The Villain: Mickey, Mickey, Mickey. Your face is just gross. I could start every review of his movies like that. As soon as the camera zooms in on his plastic face it sends a chill up my spine. He seriously looks like a pony-tailed Bruce Jenner in this movie. Gross. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in a funk for a few years before Chris Nolan started writing him massive checks. He did a few movies where he was trying to play characters not in 3rd Rock from the Sun. In this he plays the annoying as hell, slightly deranged criminal Richie Nix. Not spelled like Stevie Nicks, of course. He does a fine job of getting his character “over” but even I would have shot him sooner and not waited as long as Mickey did in the movie. Rosario Dawson gets a bit part as “girl who cooks for and bangs them”. She isn’t given anything to do really so I have nothing of worth to offer her in way of criticism.
A face only a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon could love.
The Action: This movie isn’t something that I would consider an action movie. There is a couple of gun battles and tension there for sure, but it was only after I had watched the movie and taken down the notes that I realized that I had just wasted the better part of two hours not watching a Steven Seagal movie. The action that we were given was well done. The shoot out at the end of the film was cool and seemed realistic enough. One thing I hate about Hollywood is how poorly shotguns are handled in movies. Put a 12 gauge shotgun in a 45 year old woman’s hands and it’s gonna kick her shoulder to hell. She’s not gonna accurately shoot someone from any great distance. Even the scene in the grocery store was a chaotic mess. If anything, it showed how worthless JGL’s character was throughout the whole movie.
Take it Home:
- Film Purgatory: This movie was in development hell for years. Even after finishing the film they had extensive reshoots. It makes you wonder just how bad it was before the studio re-did parts of it.
- Realty nightmare: I thought that JGL’s plan to destroy a bunch of houses on the market and blackmail the realty company was a pretty decent plan.
- Favorite quote: Armand ‘The Blackbird’ Degas: “Real life? What the f*ck is real life?” I really couldn’t find anything better than that.
- Yikes: The movie’s gross listed on IMDB on shows $17,007…that is not good.
They go out of their way to mention that Rourke’s character is Native American about 300 times, not that it has anything to do with the plot though.
I didn’t know much about this movie going into it. I remember seeing a trailer for it several years ago when it first came out and thinking that it looked cool. Even now it is hard for me to believe that a movie with so many fine actors can be so bland and underwhelming. Written by Elmore Leonard, I expected a certain level of mafia excitement, and Mexican standoffs to happen at some point. I wasn’t surprised when both actually did happen but I also wasn’t surprised at the fact that the characters that are given the least to work with are the ones that I’m supposed to be rooting for. Leonard has said it himself, “the bad guys are the fun guys. The only people I have trouble with are the so-called normal types. Their language isn’t very colorful, and they don’t talk with any certain sound.” Boy, he couldn’t be any more right in terms of this film. The first third of the movie is spent making Rourke out to be a cold-blooded killer but in the end he is kind of a wimp. He had multiple opportunities to take out both characters and kept failing. I couldn’t find a budget listed for this movie but I’m certain that it cost way more than 17 thousand. Hell, the catering probably cost more than that. For a movie titled “Killshot”, there were just not enough actual kill shots for me.