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Release Date: 04/26/24 [Cinemas]
Genre: Action. Crime. Thriller.

Studio: Roadside Attractions. 

"A fever dream action film that follows Boy, a deaf person with a vibrant imagination. When his family is murdered, he is trained by a mysterious shaman to repress his childish imagination and become an instrument of death." 


In the realm of what should be cult favorites: Hardcore Henry and Guns Akimbo, Boy Kills World arrives to be yet another maniacal delight. Gore-coated and rapidly firing on all cylinders, this action film is one hell of a ride, but in turn it’s lacking a fleshed out narrative. Forget exposition dumps, Boy Kills World trades it all for blood, gore and even more red. It plays like an ultra-violent beat 'em up, a relic hidden in a lonely arcade waiting to have a coin inserted. 


Bill Skarsgård plays the lead psychopath, influenced by his sensei with a singular task - destroy the Van Der Koy bloodline. On his path to success, he must battle an army to pick the family off one after the other to get to his target: Hilda Van Der Koy. It's satisfyingly brutal with no other motives beyond having violence depicted on screen in some seriously gnarly ways. It’s a purely original arcade game put to the screen, it serves no other purpose than to fill our eyes, heart and soul with as much carnage as possible in a rapid 115 minutes. 


The start has some work to do to fully invest the viewer. It's off from the jump with narration by the hilarious H. Jon Benjamin, better known as Sterling Archer or Bob Belcher, residing in Bill Skarsgård’s “Boy” as his inner voice. It adds a large chunk of humor to the already outrageous experience. A humorous narrator does lack a bit of sincerity when it comes to the rationality behind taking down an entire bloodline. But after the initial blast of dialogue heavy, fast moving scenes, it’s easy to understand this isn’t your average action flick at all


Every member of the cast is providing their own unique manic take on their own style of video game character. An army is just the tip of the iceberg to get to the top: Gelman, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Rothe, Michelle Dockery, and Famke Jansen are all extraordinary as members of this insane family. 


As Brett Gelman’s Gideon mentions at one point in the film, you’re expecting a “boss fight” level of combat every time a new Van Der Koy enters the scene. Bill Skarsgård steals the show, as a mute, deaf warrior seeking revenge but his adversaries are just as compelling. 


The film is garnished with a twist, an unnecessary factor that makes you reconsider where you stand with our lead character. Boy Kills World is better left without these thoughts, as it plays better as a narrative-less action beat ‘em up with an insane all encompassing world ready to eat our lead alive at any given moment. Despite a dragging runtime, it’s clear the filmmakers put their heart into every sequence the film has - this is a Neveldine/Taylor level of drug-induced crazy, but with much more fluent and cohesive direction. 

The bizarre works only if the film is able to equate it with the right amount of fun to allow it to be so and that Boy Kills World does accomplish. Similar in the nature of the aforementioned Hardcore Henry and Guns Akimbo or Crank and Gamer, the film sparks a bit of chaotic justice that will either work extremely well for some or completely misfire for others. I for one, am down to insert another round of quarters, so when that countdown triggers, I can press… Continue!

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