Killshot – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Jun 2, 2009, 14:50 GMT
Beautiful Carmen Colson and her ironworker husband Wayne are placed in the Federal Witness Protection program after witnessing an "incident". Thinking they are at last safe, they are targeted by an experienced hit man and a psychopathic young upstart killer. The ensuing struggle will test Carmen to the limit. ...more
Much was made of Mickey Rourke’s return with the Wrestler. However, Mick exercised his acting chops with this 2006 thriller where he played a hit man for hire from the Elmore Leonard novel. The Wrestler finally got the film out of the vault, but the acting is just as powerful.
Blackbird (Mickey Rourke) is a hit man. He’s doing a job for the mob eliminating the elderly head of the family (Hal Holbrook in a cameo) for the younger Turks who want to takeover the organization. He plans on this being his last job and then retirement, but things have a way of not working out for Blackbird.
He has a policy of killing everyone who has seen his face and when the lady who let him into the Don’s hotel room is the victim of that policy it turns out she was the mistress of the young Turk who hired him for the job. So now he’s a wanted man.
He’s on the run when he encounters thug Richie (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who attempts to rob him, but he reminds him of his kid brother so he doesn’t kill him. Richie then lets Blackbird in on his scheme to extort a local real estate company and gets him in on the gig. Real estate agent Carmen (Diane Lane) is in the middle of divorcing her husband Wayne (Thomas Jane).
Wayne is getting too old to do the high work in construction so he shows up at the real estate office to talk to the boss about selling real estate. His wife is in the downstairs office when Blackbird and Richie come in to get the money from the real estate manager, who they mistake Wayne for.
Wayne bluffs his way out of the robbery and beats the crap out of Richie. Blackbird and Richie escape but now Blackbird has two witnesses who’ve seen his face and need to be eliminated.
I still argue that Rourke’s furious portrayal of Marv in Sin City (2005) began the comeback that the Wrestler is known for. However, this ill-fated production also featured the same caliber of portrayal by the actor. The production is based on the 1989 Elmore Leonard novel, features a cast of famous faces, and is helmed by a seasoned director (John Madden, Shakespeare in Love) - yet it’s been shelved since 2006.
The film got lost in the Miramax vaults and was edited to eliminate some of the plot, not that it’s obvious in the picture mind you. The results, having not seen too much about what those edits might entail besides the elimination of a subplot involving Johnny Knoxville as a deputy, are a showcase once again for Rourke’s acting.
He’s excellent in the role of the hit man, using the old school actor’s method of it’s not what you say sometimes but what you don’t say. We may not have been talking Oscar nomination, but it was a great performance.
Where the rub might be is in Gordon-Levitt’s southern fried doofus. It’s not that he plays him poorly it’s just that he starts to grate after awhile. You wonder why Blackbird puts up with his incompetence, even if he does remind him of his kid brother.
Diane Lane (who gets top billing) and Thomas Jane also do well in their roles as the couple whose marriage has become strained and is about to break when the criminal element enters into their lives. Rosario Dawson also has a small role as Richie’s girlfriend, though you wonder how she too stands him. It’s really a better film than you might be led to believe consider its long time in getting out.
Killshot is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. There are no special features. This is what is even more annoying in that they could’ve had the deleted scenes or even a director’s commentary highlighting the long road to release, but we get nuttin.
Rourke has come out of the low-budget doldrums and once again rises like the Phoenix from the ashes. He still has the acting chops to make the role of Blackbird soar and now that its soared from the cage of Miramax’s vaults we can finally see it.