Killshot starts off with a crime going a bit wrong. Armand ‘Blackbird’ Degas (Mickey Rourke) is involved with this crime and it haunts him. He lost his little brother. The film then moves on to another crime, a shooting, that ALSO goes wrong and Blackbird is involved once more. He’s in big trouble this time but in the world of crime there are always a number of options if you’re smart enough. One person who definitely isn’t smart is young Richie Nix (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) so he can only be thankful that when he bumps into Blackbird and tries to rob him he ends up gaining a potential partner instead of losing his life. The two decide to rob a real estate agent but are foiled by Wayne Colson (Thomas Jane) and Carmen Colson (Diane Lane). The fact that Wayne and Carmen are in the wrong place at the wrong time proves to be doubly troubling for them when they’re offered witness protection. Wayne and Carmen were separated but now have to go back to acting like a married couple in love while they wait to hear news about the criminals who now want them dead.
From the description I’ve tried to provide, fans of crime movies should be unsurprised to find out that this film is based on a novel by Elmore Leonard. The script by Hossein Amini has some good dialogue but it soon becomes clear that this is not the best of Leonard’s material.
Director John Madden doesn’t do much to add to the material – the execution is pretty flat, to be honest, and uninspired – but he does help himself immensely by featuring so many great actors in the main roles. Mickey Rourke is excellent, and believably ruthless, as Blackbird while Joseph Gordon-Levitt becomes, purposefully, more and more annoying as the movie progresses. It may not be the best performance that you’ll see from Gordon-Levitt but it IS another very good one, and something a bit different from many of his other roles. I have been smitten with Diane Lane for years now and will watch her in anything. It helps that she’s beautiful AND a fine actress, something that she shows once again here. Then we have Thomas Jane, a man who has really developed over the years into a very good actor when given the right role. This is one of the right roles. Rosario Dawson is very good in a small roles and it’s always nice to see Hal Holbrook, however brief his screentime may be.
Killshot isn’t a bad film, it’s not bad at all, but it suffers by just being far too . . . . . . . . . . . . . inconsequential. If there’s any proper substance to it then it sailed over my head. Lacking substance would be acceptable if it made up for that with style and just a general air of cool but it doesn’t do that either. Ultimately, the movie is disappointing but it has enough little moments and solid acting to make it worth a watch.
Killshot fires onto DVD on Monday 30th July if you’re a fan of any of the many great names involved.
DIRECTOR: JOHN MADDEN
WRITER: HOSSEIN AMINI (BASED ON THE NOVEL BY ELMORE LEONARD)
STARS: MICKEY ROURKE, JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, THOMAS JANE, DIANE LANE, ROSARIO DAWSON, HAL HOLBROOK, RICHARD ZEPPIERI
RUNTIME: 95 MINS APPROX