by Nav Qateel
After witnessing a gangland execution, school teacher Ray Brookes (played by Vinnie Jones) is tracked down by gangsters. Ray is then forced to watch his wife and two grown-up children murdered. Left for dead and no faith in the British judicial system, Ray decides to take matters into his own hands.
Last year saw the release of director Adam Stephen Kelly's initial foray into filmmaking with the exceptional short film Done In, which can be watched in full at the foot of this article. Done In was a tantalizing glimpse at the capabilities of the young filmmaker, and would set the bar extremely high. It is only natural that fans of Kelly's short film would be excited about his first feature. However, it's clear from the getgo that this no-budget effort wasn't entirely in the hands of one person. It looks and feels like a film that had too many chiefs and not enough Indians. A recipe for disaster.
We follow Ray Brookes, a school teacher and family man, who witnesses an execution then watches on as his family are killed by Kane and his two henchmen. Ray is then left for dead. Up to this part is hunky dory. Well, almost. Ray's family are all shot in the head. He's inexplicably shot in the chest and no one bothers to make sure he's dead. I have a big problem with this part of the story, however I put it down to lazy writing. One would also assume that Kane was the evil Mr. Big, hence the title of the film ... but he isn't. There was one higher than him who was giving the orders. I guess "Kill Frank" doesn't have the same ring to it. The other part that I found a tad odd was the detective that would appear as if by magic. My final criticism is that the main characters were one dimensional. I cared more about Kane (or even the ubiquitous detective) than I did about the hero of this British revenge yarn.
The production values and locations were all pretty solid, and the performances were mostly even. The direction from first-timer Kelly was also on the money, however the nine-day shoot didn't help matters, and I'm sure with more time and resources, and a real budget (and a few rewrites?), Kelly would have knocked out something far superior. Having seen most of Vinnie Jones' movies, I was impressed by the way the ex-footballer actually tried to add some depth to his performance. It mostly didn't work, but 10/10 for effort! No, seriously.
Kill Kane is by no means a great film, nor is it a failure. It's a middling revenge flick and a semi-decent time-passer. Worth seeing once.