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Killers Anonymous


Stars: Gary Oldman, MyAnna Buring, Rhyon Nicole Brown, Elizabeth Morris, Tommy Flanagan, Tim McInnerny, Elliot James Langridge, Michael Socha, Sam Hazeldine, Jessica Alba, Suki Waterhouse, Sadie Frost

Director: Martin Owen

In Los Angeles, seven people sit in a circle, presided over by The Man (Oldman). The scene then switches to London, and seven more people sit in another circle, in the penthouse of a tower block, watched from a distance by The Man. Hosted by Joanna, a 'priest' (Buring), these are all people hired to kill, driven to kill, or, in the case of the doctor (McInnerny), turned on by death. 'I have lost 34 patients,' he confesses. 'I wanted to watch them die.'

Newcomer to the group is American Alice (Brown), who is all too obviously not the shrinking violet she seems. Each is invited to tell his story. 'Hello, my name is Ben,' says the first (Langridge). 'It's been 284 days since my last kill.' And so on.

This chaotic thriller with comic undertones is obviously destined to come to a head, but takes an almighty long time in doing it, eventually triggered by the appearance of a senator (Hazeldine) who has narrowly escaped assassination. The climactic violence, however, is nowhere near as apocalyptic and cathartic as the last reel of Once Upon a Hollywood.

There's the occasional pungent line - 'We're all here because we're not all there,' announces Buring - but the dialogue is so soft it's often hard to catch it, while the background soundtrack is paradoxically frequently too loud. Half the time you won't know what's going on and other half you won't care.

I did, however, chuckle at McInnerny's black joke. "I pointed a gun at my wife's face, and said 'Any last words?' Three hours later, I shot her.'

Former superstar Alba is in the film for less than 10 minutes of a meaningless prologue.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2019. UK Distributor: Bird Box (Goldfinch). Colour by Film Shed.
95 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 29 Aug 2019