You know you’re in for a real treat when the first voice over line uttered in a movie is “Fuck me.” Such is the case in the new Simon Pegg movie, Kill Me Three Times. The premise of Kill Me Three Times is nothing new: the typical double/triple cross movie. Now, there is nothing wrong with using a tried and true formulaic approach to making a movie, or anything for that matter, but in order to make it succeed you need to present it in a way that feels fresh and new and fill it with characters that excite us, that we can relate to, and that are far from cookie cutter. The actual “plan” itself doesn’t need to make much sense either because half of the fun is when the plan goes down the toilet. However, you do need to keep up with all the pieces you’ve just created in fudging up the plan, in other words, you need to keep track of who is double crossing who and why. In that sense, it becomes more complex and easier to enjoy. Kill Me Three Times barely manages to pull all of that off.
The trailer for the movie does it some injustice because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and is a bit misleading, which is a true shame because I rather enjoyed this one. It is set in a rural part of what appears to be Australia and follows a group of locals who are, you guessed it, trying to double cross each other for that all important thing that no one seems to have enough of, money. Pegg plays a weirdly lovable private investigator who happens to also be a contract killer, who in a flimsy way is the catalyst for most of this to begin with and is the means to everyone’s end. I like Pegg anyway, but it was nice to see him play a bad guy for once, even if he isn’t truly evil, so to speak. The rest of the cast is filled out by actors you’ll probably recognize, but might not know their names; Sullivan Stapleton (300: Rise of an Empire), Alice Braga (Predators), and the Hemsworth’s eldest brother, Luke (yes, another one).
I don’t want to get into too much here because half the fun was trying to figure out what was going on, yes it all clears up at the end, but it kept me guessing until the final showdown. It was at times slow, but I felt like that was deliberate because in a story like this it can tend to get a bit confusing and you want the audience to be able to keep up with what’s going on and there are a lot of crossing going on, so it could have very easily spiraled out of control into something that was unenjoyable. When watching this one, try to keep your head on straight and don’t feel bad laughing at points when you feel you probably shouldn’t, especially when Pegg is around.
This was a good way to end the day at the Phoenix Film Festival. We have more to bring you in the next couple of days so stay tuned for more.