KILL is The Raid meets Snowpiercer

Once in a while we get a scrappy little action film that reminds fans what’s possible with the right story and the right man behind the camera. The Raid was one of those films, same with John Wick, and now we have Kill a film that will soon be seeing an American remake courtesy of the folks behind John Wick no less. The film written and directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat just hit American theaters and it’s a two-fisted dose of blood splattered insanity. The film focuses on Amrit Rathod (Lakshya) an elite commando who has just celebrated his four year dating anniversary with Tulika Singh (Tanya Maniktala), who has also just been promised to someone else by her wealthy father. Tulika and her family board a train en route to New Delhi to meet her new suitor, when Amrit also shows up on the train and proposes marriage. 

The only problem is unbeknownst to them there is a family of about 40 bandits on the train, who soon begin to methodically rob the train car by car. Of course Tulika’s rich father who is also on the train makes her a prime target for Ransom and Amrit will stop at nothing to save her. 

Kill is The Raid meets Snowpiercer, since the bulk of the film is Amrit relentlessly battling from car to car, brutal exchange after brutal blood drenched exchange working his way first to Tulika, and then her sister. That being said, what makes these sequences shine is the claustrophobic environment of these fights that have cameras nestled in every nook and cranny of these spaces to make these fights appear larger than life in their confined spaces. The fight choreography works hand in hand with the cinematography to really hammer home some truly brutal action set-pieces, because once we hit that 45 minute and the title card hits for Kill, Amrit goes from trying to subdue those he come across, to killing every bandit who crosses his path in some truly gut wrenchingly inventive ways since guns aren’t an option in India.

The energy of these sequences are no doubt thanks to South Korean action director and long time Bong Joon Ho collaborator Se-yeong Oh. He worked on not only Snowpiercer, but Tiger 3 showing not only an eye for action, but also having the experience shooting in tight spaces. 

The other piece of this narrative that I feel like really elevates the stakes, is of course we have the trope of the hero, fighting for his girl. But we also have the bandits, who are indeed bad guys, but also a tight knit family. There’s a point in the film where Amrit has killed about half of them, we get to see not only their mourning, but the regret within their ranks, as some just want to get the hell out of there after watching their loved ones eviscerated by this monster. That added perspective added a fresh dynamic, since of course these guys are in the wrong, but at a point, it’s not just about financial gain. There’s a battle for vengeance and survival on both sides, while you may even at some points feel sympathetic to the bandits. 

Kill more than lives up to its name and is a gut punch of a fight film that’s a visceral assault to the senses. It’s a film that adds a completely new ingredient to this tried and true formula of a guy rescuing his girl, as basically the entire family tree is also looking for revenge against one dude, who just keeps killing the branches. This all while Amrit takes his fair share of barbs, it’s something that definitely continues to up the stakes keeping you on the edge of your seat for the film’s runtime wondering if he will make it out alive. I’ve been looking forward to checking Kill Out since I missed it at Fantastic Fest last year and not only did it live up to my expectations, it completely obliterated them to a bloody pulp. Not only can I not wait for more folks to discover this action masterpiece, but I can’t wait to see what Nikhil Nagesh Bhat will cook up next.

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