Killing Season: Action Drama Dud
John TravoltaMilo Ventimiglia...
Mark Steven Johnson
In 1 Cinema
It’s been said that when Mark Steven Johnson took control of Marvel adaptations, Ghost Rider and Daredevil, he made decent films out of bad scripts. Teaming the director with Evan Daugherty – writer of successful fairytale rework, Snow White and the Huntsman – then, sounds like a great idea, right? Wrong.
Killing Season opens with a short prologue on the Balkan War; disturbing images of NATO troops forcing their way into a small Bosnian village follow, and we see the point-blank execution of its Serbian proprietors.
Cutting to present day Belgrade, we meet Emil Kovac (Travolta); a former Serbian soldier, who is looking to obtain classified information on the current location of the NATO legionnaire who was personally responsible for shooting him almost two decades ago. The man in question is Benjamin Ford (De Niro); a war veteran who has chosen to shut himself off from the rest of the world and now spends his days taking pictures of deer whilst living in a secluded hideaway in the Appalachian Mountains.
On one stormy day, on his way to the town centre to stock up on medicine for leg pain caused by shrapnel residue, Ford runs into some car trouble and, sure enough, Emil himself. The ex-soldier offers a helping hand and introduces himself as a Bosnian tourist, out on a hunting expedition. The two soon bond over their mutual love for Johnny Cash and Jagermeister, and agree to go hunting together the next day. Completely oblivious of the trap he’s walking into, Ford soon finds himself on a cat-and-mouse chase through the woods, chased by vengeance-seeking Emil.
The idea of watching the legendary Robert De Niro and the always interesting John Travolta battle it out on the big screen has its appeals; unfortunately, Killing Season seems to have given little impetus to the seasoned actors. Travolta, decked out in a shaved head, questionable beard and a terrible Southern European accent, delivers a rather one-dimensional and bothersome performance. De Niro wades in and out of his own Southern drawl and looks completely flaccid the entire way through.
Ill-fitting casting aside, the biggest problem with Killing Season lies in the way it switches from a rather intriguing and gritty film in the intro, into a cheap action flick that is far from sophisticated enough for contemporary Hollywood. There’s no intrigue or suspense, and all of the film’s potential is washed away with some predictable turns. However, if you’re looking to see some blood, then this may be the film for you; Killing Season boasts gory moments that would make Quentin Tarantino proud.
Killing Season’s tedious script, terrible execution and foreseeable set-pieces results in a rather diluted viewing experience; one that has done a disservice to two of Hollywood’s biggest draws.