Writer: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Director: John Dahl
Budget: $4 million (estimated)
Gross: $2 426 851
sure, seeing that ben kingsley was in it caught my attention, but the truth of the matter is that the minute i saw 'director: john dahl' i wanted to watch You Kill Me.
now i know that might sound a little odd. i mean who thinks, "wow, the director of Unforgettable, Rounders and Joyride just made another movie, i really have to see that." - no one. however, go back a little farther and it would go something like this, "wow, the director of Red Rock West and The Last Seduction just made another movie, i really have to see that." that is where i am coming from. and yes, i know what he has done since The Last Seduction (which is a great movie by the way). but, john dahl is one of a few directors who made a really great first impression on me and although it has been largely disappointing since then, i always kind of want to see what he does next, knowing what he did once.
in case you were wondering, one of the other directors i see like that is d.j. caruso. the first thing of his i saw was The Salton Sea, which i really liked. but, since then it has been pretty mediocre stuff (Taking Lives, Disturbia). although his most recent offering, Eagle Eye, is better then anything since The Salton Sea, it isn't great... whereas, going back to mister dahl, You Kill Me is really good.
from The Professional to The Matador, and many, many others, the 'hit man' movie has been done to death (pun intended). however, it is also a genre ripe with stories and it can go in many directions, action/drama/comedy/etc... You Kill Me chose the comedy/dark comedy route and what a great ride it is.
ben kingsley plays an alchoholic hit man in buffalo who is sent to san fransisco, by his mob family to go to aa and get clean. while there he meets tea leoni and things go from there. kingsley is great as always, and is becoming a kind of regular here on the blog/show, as within the last while i have discussed The Wackness and Elegy, two other strong films and all featuring a great sir kingsley in very different roles. leoni does more then just hold her own here with her great comic timing and appealing presense.
what you got here is a romantic comedy with a hit man. and sure it goes through all the typical motions one would expect from such a film, but the dark undertone, bursts of comedy, strong performanced and dahl behind the camera make it a cut above and well worth checking out.