01st Sep2014

‘Killers’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Oka Antara, Kazuki Kitamura, Rin Takanashi, Ray Sahetapy, Epy Kusnandar, Luna Maya, Tara Basro, Mei Kurokawa | Written by Takuji Ushiyama, Timo Tjahjanto | Directed by Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto


When presented with a film proudly stating “from the producers of The Raid” you’d expect it to be similar, but with Killers that thought would be wrong.  This isn’t a bad thing though, the subject matter makes up for it.  A psychological battle of wits between two serial killers from different backgrounds being drawn together through the lust for murder is an interesting concept, what will happen when they finally meet?

Bayu Aditya (Oka Antara) is a loser in life, a failed investigative journalist and separated from his wife he finds himself pushed into murder when defending himself from a mugging.  Nomura Shuhei (Kazuki Kitamura) is a charismatic good-looking man in his early thirties and more importantly successful.  Behind his façade of being a clean-cut business man he is also a serial killer who posts videos of his murders online.  When Bayu posts his murder of the muggers online too Nomura decides to contact Bayu, seeing the same desire for murder in the new killer.

The story of Bayu and Nomura is interesting because the two characters are on different ends of the scale on many things.  Bayu is a killer who trips into the first murder by accident and thinks that this could be a way to right wrongs in his life, gaining revenge on those that have worked against him.  Nomura is a killer who is a success and in ways has it all.  This desensitises him against the pain he causes and the truth nature of his acts.  Where Nomura relishes in the death around him Bayu is inexperienced with how to handle the finality and repercussions, he is much more susceptible to his conscience and how it will affect those around him.  Bayu has a family that still wants him to be a part of it, Nomura’s only hope is a single parent and her autistic child who he sympathises with though finds hard to communicate with.

When the two start coming together the differences between the two killers is very apparent.  Bayu is no Nomura, his conscience is a strong part of his nature.  Even the murders that we experience perpetrated by him show that there is a morality behind his actions.  Killing a child abuser for example almost softens the impact of what he does, where Nomura is driven by a lust to torture and kill women which is a crime which has more impact and no sign of morality whatsoever.  The whole friction between the two is the fact that there is a chasm between what causes the desire to kill, so how can they work together?

Killers is an interesting concept and for the most part done well.  An issue for me is that it feels too drawn out at times and feels too long.  I can understand the need for downbeat tempo though as we learn about the lives of Bayu and Nomura, we have to understand what drives their lust for murder.  The problem is though is the audience for this movie are driven to a film like this to see a little more action than they are presented with.

Watching Killers is an interesting experience because even if it feels like it drags on just a little too much there is enough of a question raised to keep the audience interested.  We as the audience care for Bayu and wonder where his path is leading him, Nomura is more of an enigma and while we don’t care as much there is a feel that he could be redeemed at the end.  With plenty of food for thought and an ending that actually managed to answer the questions the movie raised Killers isn’t exactly a fun movie, but it is one that tries to examine the nature of the serial killer and the lust to kill.

***½  3.5./5

Killers is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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