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You Kill Me


Stars: Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni, Luke Wilson, Bill Pullman, Dennis Farina, Philip Baker Hall

Director: John Dahl

This black comedy about an alcoholic hitman isn't quite sharp enough to fire on all chambers, but has its own odd, edgy atmosphere. I quite liked it.

Kingsley stars as Frank, a veteran Buffalo assassin whose career is in danger of disappearing down the neck of a vodka bottle. Dispatched by his Polish Mafia godfather (Hall) to San Francisco to dry out, Frank enrols in the local AA - leaving his fellow-sufferers amusingly torn between shock and support when he reveals what he does for a living - and takes up an appropriate job at a funeral parlour, where he strikes up a relationship with client Laurel (Leoni).

He tells her about his 'work', which doesn't seem to shock her - and how it's affected his ability to make a clean kill. 'This woman,' he says. 'I was meant to slit her throat. She moved. I got her in the eye.'

While Kingsley is busy wooing Leoni in between falling off the wagon, back in Buffalo Hall is coming under threat from Irish racketeers led by O'Leary (Farina).

Kingsley's a bit old for his role - Hall's supposed to be his uncle - but just about gets away with it. And director Dahl, whose speciality is noir thrillers, gives the film its own quirky identity.

David Quinlan

Canada 2007. UK Distributor: Revolver. Fujicolor.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 02 Dec 2007