Taran Killam delivers the most surprising twist in cinematic history! (but not really)
Writer\Director : Taran Killam
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Taran Killam, Dave ‘Squatch’ Ward, Bobby Moynihan
I love these movies heart and soul. A group of professional killers all going after the same target gets my attention faster than a flash bang going off in a porta-john. One look at this clearly spoiler-free DVD cover and I was already holding a giant box of popcorn before I finished picking up the copy. Time to run home and throw this in the player, sit down and watch this action packed … comedy? Wait.. What?
Ok, we can work with this.
I tend to be more Horror or Action oriented, but I can review a comedy, right? I hope so, because despite the major advertisement of this movie promoting the action packed scenes, and action you WILL get, the major bent of this film is the comedy and the actual product makes no attempt to disguise this in any manner. “Killing Gunther” gets right to the point with the type of movie it’s going to be from the very first scene, thus I will as well. So lets hand Schwarzenegger a giant SPOILERS AHEAD sign, charge up our robotic arms, and see if we can figure out who Gunther may be before this unknown assassin kills us all.
“Killing Gunther” opens following a camera crew in first person into a diner quickly revealing that the customer is caught unawares by the waiter being a paid killer, despite the sudden appearance of a full camera crew which is shortly revealed to be just that, a full crew with mics and cameras following around a supposedly secret assassin named Blake, masterfully played in all his bumbling arrogance by Actor/Writer/Director Taran Killam. who, after botching his specific instructions for the hit, provides us with a direct to the camera explanation of the situation at hand. (It’s killing Gunther right?)
Yes sir. Gunther, it seems, is the worlds top Hit person, an elite and mysterious UNKNOWN killer of the highest caliber, and in order to complete the titular task, a team would have to be assembled and the documentary crew would have to.. um… document the event for proof.
A solid cast of characters
We are provided with a plethora of profiles presenting to us the core group of elite assassins all documented by the crew in a tongue-in-cheek styling that quickly shows off each characters special trait and method of murder, or, their aptitude in tracking down this mysterious figure. A list of characters I will not go into detail about, for the length of the list is as long as it is ultimately pointless.
Because just as they assemble, a rather large and heavily muscled shadow begins systematically sending them to their graves. Gunther, it appears, is well aware of their plans to kill him and is well worthy of his earned title. A bloodbath of the most ridiculous nature makes up the majority of the film to follow and throughout slowly gives us progressively deeper and deeper insight into the real story behind this mission to kill this living ghost who can apparently look like anybody, and at a slightly slower pace, details about the shadow himself.
With the constant deaths of his team, his master, and his love life, wearing on his brain, Blake eventually begins to finally crack until one last final piece of unspent luck brings a glimmer of hope back into his life.
Assembling what members of his team haven’t been murdered by Gunther, or each other, our final showdown with the still faceless murder machine seems to be on the way as they make their way to an address. And upon making their way deftly inside, they and indeed us, are finally given the honor of finally meeting Gunther Face to Face.
And with this final earth shattering revelation the only Actor whose name is on the movie poster finally steps into the movie… along with his own documentary crew.
The final sequence of the movie is filled with more Schwarzenegger references and pun than any movie he’s ever been in put together, ironically except his most popular, and semi devolves into a much more meta level of comedy before returning to a very respectable number of end action sequences.
While I’m not going to subject you to a pun of my own, I am going to leave it to the film to show you the bounty of adventure that ends this ensemble piece.
Containing both a cast and effects crew of seasoned veterans, it should be no surprise that the quality of both in this film is of a rather high order. Despite the more ridiculous nature of the plot line, the acting is not anything close to half-assed or phoned in from a single character. Really giving their full in both range and scope and truly getting into their absurd characterizations.
The same can be said for the effects team and stunt crew. With really no apparent CGI, the explosions and violence through the movie shines in all its movie-Realism allowing you to become engrossed in all the other aspects of the story without feeling pulled away by shoddy production values.
Killing Gunther isn’t what it looks like out of the box, but if you are willing to go on a silly, and seriously violent, ride it will give you an experience worth discussing even if it’s major plot points get spoiled by any single image of the movie.
While not with the highest of honors, I still strongly recommend this movie for a grand night of couch and popcorn entertainment.