Jul 7, 2014

Review: Kirot [The Assassin Next Door] (2009)

Olga Kurylenko finally gets a chance to star in her own film after having been in three major Hollywood action movies. Hitman, Max Payne and Quantum of Solace are all on varying degrees of bad and disappointing but I have to admit that Hitman is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. Moving on, Olga comes from a background of modelling and I think that it's fair to ask if Olga is able to hold her own in an action movie by herself.

Danny Lerner wrote and directed Kirot which is a much better title than the American title The Assassin Next Door. Sounds like it could be some sort of comedy with a title like that. Lerner has only one other credit to his name and hasn't done anything since Kirot. Not the best sign. He gets a bigger budget and a name actress with Kirot so he has the chance of maybe doing something special.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Genre: action, drama, thriller
Directed by: Danny Lerner
Produced by: Edouard Douek, Ehud Bleiberg, Yoav Ze'evi
Written by: Danny Lerner
Music by: Nathaniel Méchaly
Running time: 103 minutes
Production company: Bleiberg Entertainment, DPI, Douek Productions, etc.
Distributed by: United King Films, First Look Pictures, G2 Pictures, etc.
Country: Israel, United States, France
Language: English, Hebrew, Russian
Budget: $3,000,000
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Olga Kurylenko, Reymond Amsalem, Zohar Shtrauss, John Pallotta, Liron Levo, Ninette Tayeb, Henry David, Lior Habra, Vladimir Friedman, Yana Goor, Shalom Michaelshwilli
  _______________________________________________________________________________III

Synopsis

 

Galia (Olga Kurylenko) is a sex slave in Tel Aviv who decides to escape one night. Her attempt is unsuccessful but opens up another window of opportunity. Mishka (Vladimir Friedman) decides that she could be useful pulling off some high-risk assassinations for him and promises to give Galia her freedom if she does as he asks. Galia is given an apartment to stay as she waits between jobs. She finds herself entangled with her neighbor Elinor (Ninette Tayeb) and her wife beating husband (Zohar Shtrauss).

Review


Danny Lerner attempts to make Kirot a thrilling and hard hitting film. It doesn't deserve to be called an action film because of how little action there really is and how amateurishly executed it is. Punches look like they're from the 1960's with actors clearly not hitting their target and the actor being hit trying to sell it hard. It's pitiful really but fine, so Kirot isn't an action film. Is it a good drama/thriller?

I'd have to say no. The film's pace is plodding and Lerner's attempts at making the thrills thrilling only half succeed. (Spoilers) Galia's friendship with Elinor is painted as two opposites being drawn together but it never really feels genuine. Elinor getting pregnant is used as a tool to raise the stakes as is the truth of why Galia left the Ukraine originally. Lots of tears are shed but there's nothing there. (End spoilers)

The biggest problem with Lerner's attempts at making Kirot thrilling is his use of jump cuts. They seem particularly misplaced and seem to be used to simplify the film in order to avoid doing anything complicated. This ends up making everything unbelievable. (Spoilers) Is it really that easy for Galia to have found a needle with God knows what inside while in a hospital to kill one of her targets? How about an attempted murder in a crowded night club? How did she get out after having pulled the trigger? These are details that are skipped over and just make me wonder how anything of what happened is possible. (End Spoilers)

I also have to point my finger at Olga Kurylenko's acting. She seems unable to show any real emotion and ruins a handful of scenes with her blank performances. Maybe this is just how her character is meant to be but I'm not so sure. Kirot as a whole tries real hard to make an impact but fails to even make a small crater. There are too many times where the jump cuts make a sequence seem impossible to any viewer and there are no real thrills to be had. Lerner has crafted a mediocre, half-thrilling drama film that doesn't have much of a pulse.

Rating


5.5/10