Malik Bader’s ‘Killerman’ Review: An Action-packed Crime Pic That Even The Most Seasoned Film Fan Would Struggle To Keep Tabs On

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08 Jan 20

No doubt inspired by crime thrillers of the 70s, Malik Bader’s ‘Killerman’ combines every plot device imaginable in its’ genre to produce an entertaining flick about drugs, bad cops and male friendship. Sadly, the movie fails to find the deeper meaning Bader’s searching for due to a convoluted plot, saturated with testosterone, and drilled by a need to serve an audience of old-fashioned alpha males.

Smooth operator Moe Diamond (Liam Hemsworth) and his ambitious partner in crime, Skunk (Emory Cohen) hatch a plan to use money laundered by Skunk’s uncle Perico (Zlatko Buric), an old-world kingpin, to pull off a major cocaine deal. During the transaction, the duo is ambushed by cops and crash a car escaping the scene. Bader sees this as the perfect opportunity to insert the amnesia plot device, leaving Moe with a head injury.

Now with Skunk needing to reintroduce his pal into an unrecognisable world, and with both his uncle and the cops now on their backs, you would expect the well-engineered twist sets up an entertaining, highly charged 90 minutes.

However, after the memory loss turn, the movie to its detriment drops in pace and even Bader’s attempt to raise the intensity by jumping from one violent scene to the next in-keeping with the traits of a traditional thriller only goes some way to rescue an overcooked second and third act. Admittedly, the murky underworld environment retains an interest in the picture, and driven by capable performances from Hemsworth and Cohen, “Killerman” succeeds as a story to follow until its climax. 

This film, in most parts, is hard to stick with. Owing to the several elements that coexist, Moe and Skunk’s friendship can sometimes be engulfed by the chaotic criminal world. The dialogue is not totally uninspired with some compelling scenes between the two male leads, but the flick could have easily been half the length if you erase the shouting, and general hollering the writing frequently defaults to, to heighten suspenseful scenes.

Whilst Bader’s honourable attempt is desperately eager to portray the importance of that male friendship and bonding, he fails to execute this trope clearly as there’s simply just too much that goes on.

So for what has all the ingredients of a thriller, unfortunately only lightly shook this viewer.

‘Killerman’ is released on DVD in the UK from Monday, 3rd February 2020.