26th Aug2014

‘The Killing Season’ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: John Travolta, Robert De Niro, Milo Ventimiglia, Elizabeth Olin, Diana Lyubenova, Kalin Sarmenov, Stefan Shterev | Written by Evan Daugherty | Directed by Mark Steven Johnson

Killing-Season-DVD

Emil Kovac (Travolta) is a former Scorpions soldier based in Serbia on the assignment of his career: find and capture Colonel Benjamin Ford (De Niro). Wanted for being a former NATO operative, Ford has now retired from war and lives a reclusive lifestyle in the Appalachian mountains. Determined to finish what his people started, Kovac poses as a friendly European tourist and tracks Ford to his secret hideaway. As Kovac gets all the evidence he needs, he pursues Ford in a brutal game of cat and mouse, intent on bringing him to justice.

A film starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta going straight to DVD and Blu-ray? That can’t be right surely? Well if it’s The Killing Season it can.

First Blood, The Most Dangerous Game, Hard Target… Those are good cat and mouse, hunter vs hunted movies. This? This is like being teased with pieces of a much better movie that aren’t IN a much better movie. In all fairness, knowing The Killing Season was penned by Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Evan Daugherty I should have known not to expect much. And after hearing Travolta’s frankly bizarre accent I guess not even he thought this film needed any semblance of a decent performance – I’m sure Travolta put on that accent just to take the piss out of the awful script.

It doesn’t help that the direction, from Mark Steven Johnson, is completely flat. I’m in the minority when it comes to Johnson’s work – I actually enjoyed both Daredevil and Ghost Rider, but not even I could say this was well-directed. Maybe it was interference from the actors? Maybe the script was so bad that not even decent direction could save it? Who knows. There are worse films out there – but not starring the particular actors!

Hard to believe The Killing Season was to co-star Travolta and Nicolas Cage as a follow up to Face/Off

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