‘First Kill’ Plods Along as an Inept Thriller

GameStop, Inc.

First Kill

Hayden Christensen has become, rather unfairly, an easy target because of his stiff performances in the disappointing Star Wars prequels. An actor still has to work despite whatever unfair criticism is lobbed at him. Christensen now stars in the thriller from director Steven C. Miller, First Kill. If you were hoping that this would be the leading role to rehabilitate the reputation of Hayden Christensen, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. The only thing impressive about First Kill is just how overwhelmingly inept it is in every facet of its construction. This is a plodding, boring, and incredibly stupid piece of storytelling with a warped moral compass.

Will (Christensen) is a businessman working in New York City, arranging teleconferences with partners in far flung places. However, his young son Danny (Ty Shelton) is constantly bullied at school. Being a concerned parent, Will decides the best way to toughen up his young son is to take him out to the woods and kill an animal with his grandfather’s bolt action rifle. Will and his wife Laura (Megan Leonard) take their son to Will’s old hometown, where he’s quickly confronted by the local police chief Marvin Howell (Bruce Willis). Marvin warns Will to keep an eye out as there has just been a daring robbery in the quiet little town. Though the movie tries to establish that there’s a friendly relationship between Willis’ and Christensen’s characters, it’s so bungled in execution that it’s pretty damn obvious that Marvin isn’t exactly a trustworthy officer of the law.

Once at their secluded country home, Will instructs with painstaking detail just how Danny should handle his firearm. We’re witness to the father loading the gun, instructing his son how handle the gun, and then the young man firing a few shots for the first time. This is just one of many moments of egregious padding that Steven C. Miller inserts into First Kill. When hunting, Will and Danny accidentally oversee an encounter between Levi (Gethin Anthony) and Charlie (Shea Buckner), the two arguing over a key. Charlie shoots Levi at point blank range, and soon sets his sights on Danny which prompts Will to shoot and kill the man. He then sees the badge on the man he’s just shot, and instead decides to aid the wounded Levi and flee the scene of the crime – this is just one of many incredibly stupid decisions that this characters commits. Levi is medically tended to by Laura, and then he awakes only to kidnap Danny so that he can get the key that was left behind at the initial crime scene. Will tracks down the MacGuffin while Police Chief Marvin is never far behind.

Time hasn’t made Hayden Christensen any less wooden of an actor, though once again he’s underserved by the written material, in this case by screenwriter Nick Gordon. The character routinely makes awful decisions, and this is character trait that is established right from the start. To be fair, Hayden Christensen has absolutely no backup on the screen. Most of the cast is out of place or poorly underwritten. Most noticeably, though, is the sleepwalking on display by Bruce Willis, who seems like he couldn’t be bothered with even putting forth the slightest bit of effort.

There are painstaking lengths taken by Steven C. Miller to establish some kind of moral to this inept story. The character of Levi, who I must remind you kidnaps a child after committing a robbery, only takes upon his life of crime in order to help his wife’s mother, who is afflicted with what is described as a “80-pound tumor.” While attempting to make Levi somewhat sympathetic, it does make it sound like he’s engaged in a life of crime to save the life of someone who can’t be saved. Of course, Levi is able to bond with kidnapping victim by allowing the child to play video games, leading to the quickest case of Stockholm syndrome in recorded history. It’s not just the criminals who have this bizarre form of morality injected in to their characters. In a lot of ways, Christensen’s character reminds me of Homer Simpson in the classic episode “Homer’s Phobia,” where a misguided hunting trip will somehow make Bart more masculine and not a homosexual. Once he’s killed a man in self-defense in front of his child, Christensen’s Will decides to not report it to the authorities. A sterling case of leading by example. He’s truly a Father of the Year candidate.

The general construction of First Kill is astounding in its ineptitude. One of the film’s crucial scenes take place during a rain storm. You can tell it’s an obviously a faked rain, because Miller frames these shots where you can see the sunshine and a perfect day in the background of the frame. This isn’t a case of a minor little sliver of light sneaking into a darkened frame, it’s an overwhelming distraction. This carelessness sneaks into the film’s action sequences, such as one chase where there are conveniently two ATVs for the characters to just take at will. It’s also prevalent in the dialogue, as in the moment where Willis’ Marvin calls the hospital to ask the nurse on duty about the “tumor list,” which I’m sure is a routinely used medical term. All these factors and the egregious padding make First Kill a movie that’s a chore to sit through. This isn’t so bad it’s good. It’s just bad. Really, really bad.

First Kill
  • Overall Score
1

Summary

A slow-moving thriller featuring a sleepwalking Bruce Willis, First Kill is woefully inept in everything it does except for padding its running time with drawn out scenes of pure tedium.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap’ Season Two – Interview

Legendary Actor, Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap‘ Season Two, 2-Hour Season...

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby’

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby‘...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Saga! Back to the story!

Alright you monkeys, back to work!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Cultural Junkdrawer: I’m not a Swifty, but…

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER I‘M not a Taylor Swift fan but…     This...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...