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Killerman (A Movie Review)

Updated: Feb 25, 2020



Starring Liam Hemsworth, Emory Cohen, Diane Guerrero, Suraj Sharma, Zlatko Buric, Nickola Shreli, Mike Moh, John Cenatiempo, Souleymane Sy Savane, Stivi Paskoski, Richie Ng, Reza Nader, Julia Vasi, Coletrane Williams, Ellis Cox-McAllister, Richard Goteri, Michael Mili, Tony Guerrero, Jay Huguley, Omar Bader, Jimmie Cummings and Malik Bader.

Screenplay by Malik Bader.

Directed by Malik Bader.

Distributed by Blue Fox Entertainment. 112 minutes. Rated R.

To give you an idea of the lack of subtlety in this violent urban drug tale, the title Killerman does not refer to someone’s occupation or nickname. It is supposed to be the given last name of one of the characters. And yes, Killerman does end up killing more than one man.

Adding to the dearth of craftiness on display, Killerman uses the old overused trope of having the main character get amnesia in a massive car crash. Therefore, he spends much of the film not knowing who he is or the kind of a massive shitstorm in which he is stuck right in the middle. He just appears to drop right into the middle of a massive drug war involving gangsters and dirty cops, but he seems to land on his feet and stay on top of the fray, surviving (and causing some of) a series of fatalities by gunshot, fire, torture and hungry dog.

So, no, you are not going to be surprised often by Killerman. Which does not necessarily make it a bad movie – many very fine films are rather predictable as far as storytelling. It’s okay to tell a formula story, as long as it is a good formula.

Is Killerman good formula? Not so much. It has some good moments, but not enough to make it stick out as anything more than what it is, a cheesy and extremely bloody action-adventure about drug-dealers killing each other and corrupt policemen, with the occasional pregnant girlfriend getting caught in the crossfire.

That dead girlfriend (and baby) is the motivation of Moe Diamond (played by Liam Hemsworth), a money-launderer who inadvertently gets caught up in a rather poorly planned drug deal by his reckless gangster buddy Skunk (Emory Cohen). This leads to a car crash causing Moe to be concussed and lose his memory.

Of course, the loss of the fiancée and child would have probably seemed more tragic if he could even remember who she was ten minutes earlier, but hey… amnesia sucks. Still, the loss of his forgotten girlfriend sets Moe on the course of a bloody revenge plot, planning to basically singlehandedly take down both crews involved in the deal, as well as the dirty cops.

The problem is Moe is a pretty inscrutable guy, even when he still has his memory. He’s obviously familiar with the dark side, but he does seem to be relatively reasonable – or at least has a sane sense of survival – until he lets his buddy talk him into getting into the colossally stupid drug deal. Even if it didn’t go blooey and they didn’t run afoul of the dirty cops, Moe argued sensibly that it was a fatally impulsive, irresponsible and even unnecessary plan. The fact that he would let his buddy talk him into it anyway – though he seems to be trying to protect the guy – makes you wonder about Moe.

Of course, his buddy isn’t the only asshole on display here. Honestly, most of the characters here on both sides of the law seem to be horribly unlikable. In fact, the head dirty cop (played with style by Nikola Shreli) is the only charismatic character in the movie. He’s a homicidal maniac, a dirty cop and completely reprehensible, but he is the only guy in the film that seems to have any sense of fun and a personality that isn’t surly.

And who is Killerman? I won’t spoil that, for it is one of the few minor surprises in the film.

Killerman has some exciting action sequences and would work in a pinch if you are feeling the jones for a low budget underworld thriller. It’s the type of movie that you might stumble upon on cable or Netflix and have a relatively painless couple of hours of entertainment. Not the best film you’ll find, but not the worst either.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: August 30, 2019.

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