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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Kill Kane 2016 * * 1/2 Stars

Kill KaneDirector: Adam Stephen Kelly
Year: 2016
Rated NR
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Vinnie Jones, Nicole Faraday, Sebastian Street

What I learned from 2016's Kill Kane, is that Vinnie Jones can carry a movie (even if it is only seventy-four minutes long). He shows a decent amount of screen presence here and it's refreshing to see that he's not featured in a supporting role or a role in which he has the most minimal of dialogue. Vinnie scowls, ponders, appears defensive, and exterminates people. Oh and in certain bits of light, he actually looks like 1980's Sean Connery (I'm not kidding).

Anyway, Jones plays PE teacher Ray Brookes. After witnessing a murder behind a trailer home, he is immediately ID'd by gangsters who break into his house and off his wife and two kids. Ray himself is left for dead but survives, waking up from a three month coma with revenge on his mind. As Kill Kane's running time flies by, Ray then starts to take the law into his own hands. Firearms, lying to police, stealthiness, reprisal, vanishing from the scene of the crime. If this all sounds familiar, it should. "Kane" is straight from the annals of 2014's John Wick, John Singleton's Four Brothers, Kill Bill, and Steven Seagal's Hard to Kill. When Vin's Brookes shoots dead one of the murderers who took his family away from him, he utters the words, "talk is cheap". A funny jab at the majority of Vinnie's acting career if you ask me.

So OK, "Kane" is not wholly original, has few locations, feels low budgeted, has a small cast, and has almost no backstory when it comes to the characters (how the heck did Mr. Brookes achieve such a special set of skills?). No matter. First time director Adam Stephen Kelly gives the proceedings the veritable Michael Mann treatment. Not withstanding his overuse of darkly lighted and effectively quick-minded flashbacks, Kelly somehow provides the film with a raw sense of flair and verve. This keeps you distracted from its shortcomings. Add Vinnie's likable performance, some thick British accents, and a stirring musical soundtrack by Bobby Cole (he scored Valley of the Witch) and you've got a stylish, rogue thriller that's nasty in its disposition and stock on plot. Bottom line: Kill Kane isn't "killer" great but as a rental, this "Kane" is at least able. Of note: Don't be distracted by the flick's shootout ending which looks like a laughably skewed, Mexican standoff. Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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