These days it’s really hard releasing a movie. Usually “making” a movie is the hard part, but the internet, new distribution models, and plain old competition from other films gobbling up mind-share force good movies to get lost in the ocean of pop culture.
Killing Gunther is one of those movies. Directed by Taran Killam, who was hot off of a pretty legendary SNL run, the movie basically came and went from theaters in October of 2017 and was primarily released on VOD. Therein lies the shame, as this movie deserved a wider release and definitely more views, as despite it’s lukewarm critical reception it’s a real gem of a film.
The movie centers around a group of assassins who are hunting down Gunther, a mega assassin who managed to piss off or wrong just about every other assassin our there. The movie is a tremendous mash of comedy and action, and plays with just about every action movie trope while turning others on their head. In this sense, Killam did an amazing job throwing the kitchen sink at the script while making sure there was a coherent story here. Along with Killam, the entire cast features talents like Bobby Moynihan (another SNL alum), Hannah Simone, Aaron Yoo, and Amir Talai. All shine as the classic “assassin” characters they play and add great diversity to what could otherwise be a very monotone landscape.
Of course, Arnold shines as the titular Gunther, the assassin who has wronged everyone with his sheer success as a killer himself. At a certain point, the film turns into a bit of an Arnold love fest, embracing the legend to it’s fullest extent. No complaints here in that regard.
While I did like the film for it’s a great mix of action and comedy I loved it for it’s surprising character arks. Of course, the movie isn’t perfect. Halfway through the film, when some of the gimmicks have worn off, it drags and then loops around on itself, which basically means the plot may be a bit too complex for its own good.
However, those are minor quibbles for a movie that is definitely required viewing for any true action connoisseur.
You should be able to find it on most VOD platform, as I found it on Amazon.
Now get watching!