Review by Mark Merrell
World renowned professional assassin Gunther (Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall) is a shadowy figure. A master of disguise and death, no one knows what he looks like, his true identity, or where he lives. One thing that is known, is that Gunther is the best in the business, and that co-assassin Blake Hammon (Taran Killam, 12 Years A Slave, Saturday Night Live, The Heat) wants to kill him.
Shot as a, mockumentory, Blake hires a film crew to document his quest to eliminate Gunther. He also recruits a team of professional killers, each with their specific skills. Donald Piznowski (Bobby Moynihan, Me Myself & I, Saturday Night Live, Duck Tales) is an explosives expert. Sanaa Fairouza (Hannah Simone, New Girl, Band Aid, Folk Hero) is an incredible sharpshooter. Computer expert, Gabe Beales, (Paul Britain, Hotel Transylvania, Saturday Night Live, Comedy Bang! Bang!) nearly shorts-out a computer while he’s being introduced.
Ashley (Aubrey Sixto, Alcatraz) is the veteran assassin, and secret weapon of the group, although he is elderly, with his best years primarily behind him. Izzat Bukhari (Amir Talai, The Pursuit Of Happiness, Kung Fu Panda, The Circle) had an accident in his past that resulted in the loss of his right arm. The full bionic replacement gives him super strength with it, as long as the batteries it requires do not run out. Mia and Barold Bellakalakova are a sister/brother team of eccentric killers. The master of poisons is Pak Yong Di (Aaron Yoo, 21, Disturbia, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist). Rounding out the group is Max Palane (Steve Bacic, X-Men 2, Andromeda, The 6th Day), Blake’s former assassin business partner.
With the group ready to go, they have no idea what Gunther looks like, and neither does the audience (sort of). Everyone meets in a warehouse, when Max’s appearance surprises the assembled assassins. To their amazement, Max has all the information on Gunther, and is about to reveal everything, when all hell brakes loose.
Written and directed by Killam, the film is a dark comedy that will have you laughing when you think you shouldn’t. Although it’s not a fantastic movie, it definitely has it’s moments. The missing potential is the identity of Gunther. You known Gunther is played by Schwarzenegger, but he doesn’t appear on camera until late in the second half of the film. Why not use his presence to add to the comic relief from the beginning? Schwarzenegger’s reveal as Gunther, instead of a surprise, comes off like an afterthought. Funny, but an afterthought, falling short it’s intended target and purpose.
With all that being said, Killing Gunther does have some very funny moments. Unfortunately, those moments are too few and far between to make this a killer movie.
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