The Kill Room

The Kill Room

Amazon Film
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5.5

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1.4

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The art world and the under world collide in The Kill Room when a money-laundering scheme accidentally turns an assassin into an overnight sensation.

Few subjects are as evergreen for ridicule as the modern art world.

That sphere’s sincerity, sense of gravitas, and fear of looking foolish if you don’t ‘get it’, all combine into plenty of material from which to parody.

Starring Uma Thurman and Joe Manganiello, The Kill Room is a dark comedy where criminal art is unexpectedly a hit with collectors.


What Is The Kill Room About?

Art gallery owner Patrice (Thurman) is down on her luck. No-one is buying what she is selling, and the rot has spread to artists pulling out of her gallery.

With a drug habit to feed, her weakness is sensed by local criminal Gordon (Samuel L. Jackson, Secret Invasion) who proposes a money laundering scheme whereby trash art produced by hitman Reggie (Manganiello) is ‘sold’ to Gordon so that the funds are cleaned by the transaction.

Somewhat predictably, Reggie’s art starts to build a buzz with collectors due to limited supply and secrecy.

His crude pieces produced under the moniker ‘The Bag Man’ garner more attention than the criminal world is comfortable with, putting the over indulging Patrice in much more danger than she realises.

Our immediate introduction to Reggie is as a ruthless killer. He aggravates his marks into revealing how vulnerable they are before suffocating them with plastic bags.

This scowling character is wonderfully undercut as his roughshod pieces become the talk of the town, and Reggie begins to question both his situation and himself.

The Kill Room Official Trailer

Is The Kill Room Worth Watching?

At its core The Kill Room has a fun premise which is lifted by Manganiello’s performance.

He imbues his character with an awakening self-worth that gives his scenes some much needed nuance and contrasts effectively against Thurman’s swivel-eyed mania.

Drugs and desperation grip Patrice. Thurman delivers this in an almost vibrating performance where she is rarely still or calm.

When paired up with Manganiello these approaches combine into comedic and dramatic currency. Separated though, The Kill Room struggles to hold its bag tight over your head.

The vast bulk of the movie is aimed at taking potshots at art and collectors.

Your bingo card can quickly be stamped with such marks as ‘rich buyers who only want the next big thing’, and ‘ego centric artists with inflated self worth’, and ‘back stabbing passive aggressive industry types’.

It’s a well worn joke given no individualism here.

Even at a short run time of a little over 90 minutes, The Kill Room struggles to flesh out its scenes.

A smattering of gangsters and Jackson being his usual self (albeit as a Jewish baker turned criminal) breaks up the repetitive skits but not to the point of standing out in their own right.

The movie can be boiled down to its central one sentence premise at all times due to lack of sub-plots or particularly incisive satire.

Much like the bloodstained plastic bags pinned into an installation before you, The Kill Room will give back what you give to it.

Underneath the paint by numbers mockery of art, artists, and art collectors, lies a solid message of expressing yourself to rise above your limitations.

That the movie then chooses to have Thurman vomit all over it is probably best left unexamined.

Words by Mike Record

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Good

  • Thurman And Manganiello Play Off Each Other Well
  • Reggie's Character Arc
  • Thurman's Mad Performance

Bad

  • Art Jokes Are Tired
  • Art Jokes Go On And On
  • Art Art Art
5.5

Average

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