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You Kill Me (0/10)

by Tony Medley

How bad is this film? At my meagerly attended screening four critics scooted long before the end. And they are paid to watch this stuff! Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of ‘em.

Frank (Ben Kingsley) is a Hit Man found only in Hollywood films, an introspective guy with feelings. Here he lives in Buffalo and works for Mob boss Ramon (Philip Baker Hall). He botches a hit on Ramon’s arch-rival Irish Mob boss O’Leary (Dennis Farina) because he’s drunk and falls asleep. Ramon banishes him to San Franciso (of all places) for a cure. There he falls for Laurel (Tea Leoni).

In talented hands, this might have the makings of a good comedy. Alas, in the hands of director John Dahl and writers Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeeley it is one of the worst films I’ve had to endure this year, and that’s saying a lot.

There is not an iota of chemistry between Laurel and Frank. There is no reason why they should be interested in one another. He’s old and ugly; she’s young and moderately attractive. She does have a foul mouth and a personality that would scare a rattlesnake.

I deplore critics who write all the good lines from a film in their reviews. Since this film doesn’t have any good lines, I’m going to reveal a couple of the lines that they thought would be laughers and let you be the judge.

When Laurel and Frank first meet, she says a couple of things intended as jokes and then gets an expression on her face that says, as Senator Claghorn on radio’s Fred Allen Show often warned, “That’s a joke, son, a joke that is.” Good thing she telegraphs the idea because I sure didn’t think they were funny.

Later, when Frank gets a temporary job helping a mortician dress corpses, he looks at his first corpse and says, “Now that is one good lookin’ dead man.”

Roman, says to his goombahs to go get the “Greeks” to wipe out his rival, O’Leary. His goombahs come back saying the Greeks don’t want to do it. Roman says, “F’ing Greeks. Hey, they gave us democracy.”

Enough! I know what you’re saying, “Why didn’t you leave when you had the chance?” As I was taught to respond when I was in the Armed Forces, “No excuses!” But you have an excuse. I warned you.

June 21, 2007