Plot: What’s it about?
Let’s see if we’ve heard this one before: A team of hunters become the hunted. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me, but even something cliché can be entertaining. With that being said, you’re in no such luck with King of Killers, a mediocre new film that is one of the most repetitive and boring things I’ve seen in quite some time. I believe it received a limited theatrical release, but this is B-Movie trash of the worst kind. Direct-To-Video is the only place for this sort of garbage, but honestly, it should’ve never been made. Longtime readers of this site may remember that I have enjoyed some films of this sort. Occasionally, a B-Movie might just surprise you and turn out alright. Sadly, that isn’t the case here. Despite it trying tirelessly to entertain us, it just misses the mark big time.
Much to my surprise, Killers is based on a Graphic Novel. The plot involves an Agency hitman who is tasked with a $10 million offer, but when he arrives in Tokyo, he discovers that there are several other professional killers there as well. We’re introduced to Marcus Garan (Alain Moussi) who is undercover and takes down several bad guys effortlessly. His handler is Robert Xane (Stephen Dorff). Back at home, we meet Garan’s wife, Karla (Amy Groening) and daughter Kimberly (Zoe Worn). They all seem to have a good rapport and get along nicely. Tragedy strikes, and this involves his wife being killed and daughter falling ill. It’s here that Jorg Drakos (Frank Grillo) arrives with his offer. He is known to be the King of Killers, or so he proclaims. Marcus’s offer is to kill Drakos, but this isn’t without its hurdles, and a whole team of assassins with the same goal. Normally I would list some of the other characters featured, but in a film where they’re so interchangeable, I won’t waste my time or yours. Sadly, had they been given some personalities, that might’ve made this sort of thing really work. Imagine the fun you could have watching the various personality types play off against one another. If they had gone the suspenseful route of not knowing which characters would survive. I don’t need to think up this stuff, they should have, and they might’ve had a good film on their hands.
I can see how this might’ve looked good on paper. The execution (pun intended) is what leaves a lot to be desired. Think of this film in the heyday of big action flicks with big name stars attached to it. When you have a big cast with a plot like this, it is easier to care and become invested in the story. None of the secondary characters register at all, the action is boring, and I just didn’t care. There is only so much CGI action that I can tolerate.
Video: How’s it look?
With a 2.39:1 transfer and this being a new film, all I have are my usual remarks about how good this looks. The film is trash, but the colors are all as they should be, and the print displays no issues worth mentioning. Background shots and blood splatter all add up to make this a winning viewing experience.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD track is as you would expect. Vocals have clarity, but the action scenes are what you’re going to notice the most. Indeed, the track keeps us engaged and there’s a good balance to it. You might want the remote handy to lower it during the quieter moments.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no supplemental material. Interestingly enough, this may be a growing trend of putting a Blu-Ray/DVD combo set inside a DVD style case. I am not a fan of this trend, but there are worse things in life.
The Bottom Line
Being a reviewer for this site for over a decade certainly has its advantages. I have seen countless films that might’ve slipped by me in another life. Some surprise me by how not awful they are. Unfortunately, you get one like this every so often. I have seen worse action films than this, but this is so pedestrian and so mediocre that it’s frustrating. What is most irritating is that the premise is actually not half bad. As it stands, however, you can safely skip it.