Home Video Hovel- Kill Speed, by Jack Fleischer
I say this with sincerity; I always go into a film with the hope that it’ll be good. Even when it comes to DVD features like Kill Speed. I’m always hopping that it’s going to be an overlooked gem. That maybe Battleship Pretension will surface a film that never got the attention it deserved. Well, the funny thing is that Kill Shot kind of got me at first. There were some interesting ideas, and I was hoping for a payoff from this goofy looking flick about “Tiger Beat” leftovers flying experimental, drug filled, aircraft.
The story: A trio of pilots who call themselves “The Fly Guys” run small plastic planes between Mexico and the US smuggling crystal meth for a powerful and ruthless Mexican drug lord. Meanwhile a US law enforcement agency, the DIA, is on their tail. Then … um … something happens and the “Fly Guys” have to do something heroic instead. I don’t want to spoil the film, but sitting here it also hits me that our heroes’ transformation from bad to good is shallow and arbitrary.
For all this film’s rolling aerial photography, (which is good but never great), there is no attention given to detail. Everything is painted with a broad and cartoonish brush. This problem starts with the characters. Their actions are all two-dimensional. They speak in overworked metaphors, and use nothing but hack cliché’s to fill in the silences. If I ever hear the words, “ice” or “bird,” or the phrase, “Hold on to your lunch,” again I will shoot someone.
Really the biggest problem is that the only emotions on people’s faces are “pain” and “cool.” Everyone’s foreheads are so vexed, and every eyebrow is so knit that sweaters are falling from their foreheads. THEY ARE ACTING SO HARD IT HURTS!
Written and directed by Kim Bass this film is Entourage meets Point Break, or The Big Hit meets Top Gun, or The Fast and The Furious meets Stealth. If you’ve ever seen young, rich, bros acting cool with expensive machinery, you’ve seen this movie. Although (SPOILER!) There is one thing that made me laugh in a horrible kind of way. The character played by Nick Carter is wicked killed in a fiery crash (END SPOILER).
Yes, the cast is … interesting. There are a slew of 5-minute cameos from the likes of Goldberg, Tom Arnold and Robert Patrick. The two biggest stars(?) in the regular cast are probably Greg Grunberg (Heroes), who is likeable but flat, and Nick Carter, who plays a hip-hop-cracker version of Nick Carter. Our primary leads are Andrew Keegan (10 Things I hate about You), Natalia Cigliuti (All My Children), and Brandon Quinn (the Gillette ProGlide ads). I want to say something snarky here, but really, they’re probably just victims of the script.
The box art on this film says it all. The scene it depicts isn’t in Kill Speed. It emulates a scene at the end of this flick, but it has little to do with the rest of the film. On the box a muscle car races towards us. Behind it are two cop cars flipped over in a ball of flames. Meanwhile a jet soars overhead. If you look closely however you’ll notice that the car is standing still, and there are cartoon “speed” lines drawn off the back. The photographer is also reflected in the hood, and the driver is a woman on a cell phone. The explosion too is a picture of fire with yellow “explosion” lines coming from it. It all looks hacky and ridiculous.
This movie has a lot of flash. It mimics other action films. It copies familiar concepts, but it’s a pale imitation at best. It’s like a hyperactive child wrote it, after playing a rousing game of, “Cops and Robbers.”
This direct to DVD offers absolutely no special features. But if you do watch this, I suggest pairing it with a dialogue driven drinking game with an assurance that no one drives home afterwards.