Director: Kriv Stenders
Starring: Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Alice Braga, Luke Hemsworth
Who orders fish without chips? Who slaps peanut butter on toast without jelly? Who’s Frisky without Mannish? What’s Eric B. without Rakim? The point of all these hypotheticals being that some great combinations are never meant to be split up. Some people, actors, musical duos, couples, etc. are simply a better product together than they are apart. After careful consideration, I’m privy to say the same for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The comedic duo blew up worldwide in the mid-2000s with Cornetto trilogy hits ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’, and more recently, ‘The World’s End’, all directed by the magnificent Edgar Wright. Those three films are generational comedy gems, and for all intents and purposes, made Pegg and Frost the success they are today. Now, they’re at a point where they are free to pursue individual roles, such as Simon Pegg’s recent performance in the black comedy thriller ‘Kill Me Three Times’.
Confession time: I saw Frost in ‘Cuban Fury’ and Pegg in ‘Hector & The Search for Happiness’. Frankly, it scared me. I’m terrified of a future where these two comedic legends may be past it, done with putting together laugh-out-loud rompers for the world to enjoy. Pegg’s seemingly got it made in the shade with franchise blockbuster roles in the ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Mission Impossible’ franchises. But poor Frost, who’s been banished to supporting roles in terrible Vince Vaughn comedies and vain attempts to make Snow White relevant again, I worry about you. I only want what’s best for them both. Please guys, spare us the agony of watching you go solo and get the band back together. The world needs more Cornetto. But first, back to ‘Kill Me Three Times’.
‘Kill Me Three Times’ is a roundabout tale taking five different viewpoints and mending them together in a delightfully off-balance, mysterious, canny way. First off, there’s the seedy hotel owner, Jack Taylor (Callan Mulvey), who plans to have his cheating wife Alice killed by notorious contract killer Charlie Wolfe. Then, there’s the cheating wife Alice (Alice Braga) who feels her husband is abusive and finds solace in the arms of another, gentler man, Dylan (Luke Hemsworth), planning to run away with him along with a bundle of stolen cash from her ex-husband. In the middle of it all is Charlie Wolfe (Pegg), curiously bandying about town planning the way he’ll do Alice in. Just when you thought it’s another been-there, seen-that type of day: enter the Dentist, Nathan, and his henchwoman wife Lucy, who also happens to be Jack’s sister. Nathan has got himself into terrible debts with sports betting, and plans to fake his wife’s death by actually dispatching of Alice himself, swapping Alice and Lucy’s dental records, and collecting the insurance money to pay off his trouble. Yet, don’t underestimate Lucy, who really is the brains behind Nathan’s scheme and plans to double cross him first chance she gets to make away with all the cash. Whose plans actually go accordingly? I guess you’ll have to watch it to find out.
The critics completely misunderstood ‘Kill Me Three Times’. It kinda felt like ‘7 Psychopaths’ meets ‘The Hit List’. The narrative arc is good, not great, and probably a bit well-trodden by now. Nonetheless, ‘Kill Me Three Times’ is still entertaining. Hell, Pegg in the least garners a few cheeky laughs at precisely the right moments. I don’t think they made this film to be some revolutionary work of art, but not all films are meant to be groundbreaking. Some films are just meant to be casually enjoyed, to take our minds off the real world with ease. That’s all ‘Kill Me Three Times’ should be – a pleasant Sunday afternoon on the couch kind of movie. Nothing more and nothing less. If you take it as such, I’m sure you’ll find yourself more pleased with ‘Kill Me Three Times’ than the critics were.