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  • Justin Louallen

Killing Gunther - Written Movie Review

Killing Gunther is an action comedy directed, produced, written, and starring Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Hannah Simone, Cobie Smulders, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. A hitman named Blake (Taran Killam) decides to be famous by tracking and killing the world's greatest assassin, Gunther (Schwarzenegger). To make things interesting, he hires a documentary crew to record everything and also enlists his own team of rag tag assassins to help him take out Gunther. Now, from the previews, I expected this to be a fun free for all assassin film in the vein of Smokin' Aces if it was a found footage film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well, I was right about two of those three things, but the later turns out to be completely misleading. I found this movie to be completely boring and forgettable at best. To get my pros out of the way, I really loved this concept with the whole assassins going after the most powerful one in a mockumentary approach. The way the story was going at first, I was getting into the whole documentary angle and how they were trying to outsmart Schwarzenegger in the most dumb ways seeing how he knows they are coming for him that I had some fun with it. I will also admit, I had some laughs here and there throughout with some of the humor, but mainly in the last act. At last, the best thing that worked for me in this whole film was Arnold. When we finally get to his appearance, I was smiling throughout and had a blast with his performance, especially with the way he is kind of playing a parody of himself, ala Last Action Hero. You can tell he had a blast doing this movie. Now this is where I get into my cons. As much as I really enjoy this concept and how it started out, it started really losing me as it went along after the first 30 to 35 minutes. I felt like the film was tone deaf on what it was trying to do with it's mockumentary approach. It was giving me flashbacks to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in how the beginning of the film feels like it's trying to be a satire, while the rest of it feels like a different type of movie altogether and misses the point of what it's trying to do. We have scenes that are supposed to be serious that felt out of place when it starts to focus on a couple of the assassins' personal lives. Other than Arnold, I really did not care about any of these other assassins and the jokes started to fall flat on their face a lot throughout the film that I was starting to get really bored. Speaking of Arnold, remember when I said that there were only two out of three things that I got right about my expectations? He's barely in this! He's in this for like 15 minutes and it feels like the movie would've worked better if he was in the rest of it. Another issue I had was the editing. I know this is meant to be a mockumentary type of film, but a lot of the action scenes were so hard to focus in on what was happening that I couldn't tell who was who in scenes, especially a part where it's entirely in night vision. It was annoying and it didn't help that the CGI was also rendered poorly too. This may sound like a nitpick, but I also caught an error in one part where it shows one of the characters return to New York and it shows a shot of the city before it cuts to them going to an apartment. Unless there was a reason for it, this shot felt out of place as it didn't show any of the camera crew filming it with the characters in place. Nothing to really much else to say other than the movie could've been so much more, but it turned out to be a disappointment for me. I'm going to give Killing Gunther a 5/10, and I think I'm being nice on that. What were your thoughts on this film? Leave me a comment below and I'll see you on my next review.

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