Michael Smiley in Kill List.
Michael Smiley in Kill List.

(18) 95mins

Director: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring

I SUPPOSE in every film reviewer’s career there’s a time when they have to admit that they haven’t a clue what a movie was about.

The problem is that Kill List has received critical acclaim and plaudits so I feel a bit left out in the cold.

I was with the rest of the audience watching this British film - the final credits came up, there was a few seconds’ silence and then a lot of comment along the lines of ‘What was all that about?’

The best part of this movie is the acting, with Michael Smiley outstanding as a world-weary killer. Some may remember him as Tyres in the Channel 4 hit comedy Spaced.

For the first 20 minutes or so Kill List is like a kitchen sink drama as couple Jay (Maskell) and Shel (Buring) argue over the lack of money.

However, Gal (Smiley) persuades Jay to team up together again in their old jobs - as assassins.

Once they get their Kill List, the film divides into chapters for each of the hits. We then have some very brutal, explicit violence.

All the while, though, there’s an undercurrent that something strange is afoot.

I waited with anticipation for answers to be revealed - what I got was a baffling and disturbing ending - sort of like The Wicker Man if Quentin Tarantino had directed it.

What can’t be denied is the excellent direction, atmospheric scenes and, surprisingly, some good comic moments.

I’m fully prepared to admit that some people may understand exactly what the final scenes are all about.

All I ask is that they explain them to me!

three out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley