Wednesday, August 4, 2010

MIFF 2010: The Killer Inside Me

Perhaps you have to be in the mood. Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me was disappointing. This portrait of evil will suit fans of gratuitous violence but as a character study it fell way short. It's part crime thriller, part horror, part psychological drama.

It may have been because Casey Affleck plays bad cop Lou Ford with his cowboy drawl that is impossible to understand at times. Is this great acting or poor elocution?

The plot was both unlikely and predictable. We are asked to accept that Ford has suddenly come out in his late twenties as a nasty after years as a nice guy. The trigger of a slap on the face hardly explains the sudden emergence of Mr. Hyde.

The law enforcement people, led by DA Howard Hendricks (Simon Baker), are not the brightest bunch. Even basic forensic science of the early 1950s like fingerprinting seem beyond them. Their extraordinary lack of any sense of smell at the final confrontation is amazing.

This film is pretty pedestrian pulp fiction. Perhaps the storyline of the original crime novel was fresh in 1952. It just seems to have been done to death on film and television.

Of the victims, Jessica Alba performance is much more memorable as Joyce Lakeland than Kate Hudson as girlfriend Amy Stanton. The rest of the male cast had the appeal of a telemovie.

As a longime Tarantino follower, the blood saturation point may have been reached for me.

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