Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “You Kill Me”

(IFC Films. 2007. Rated R. Color. 93 minutes. Directed by John Dahl.) Ben Kingsley, T?a Leoni, Luke Wilson, Dennis Farina, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman, Marcus Thomas. Music by Marcelo Zarvos.

Low-key black comedy which takes a little time to get going, but stick with it. Frank Falenczyk (Kingsley, pitch-perfect), a hit man for the Polish mob in wintry Buffalo, NY, is losing his touch due to his heavy vodka habit. After sleeping through a planned hit on a local Irish gangster, O’Leary (Farina), Frank is sent by his boss Roman (Hall) to sunny San Francisco to join AA and regroup. Dave, a crooked realtor (Pullman, nicely quirky) sets Frank up with a part-time job at a local funeral parlor (this is sort of along your line of work, Dave says), where he meets and gets involved with Laurel (Leoni). Also helping Frank is his AA sponsor, Tom (Wilson). There are a few scenes I really loved, like when Frank stands up at his AA meeting and explains to the stunned group how he needs to get over his drinking so that he can get back to killing; there’s also a fascinating one with Frank tenderly showing Laurel his best, er, knife-stabbing techniques. (As I mentioned, you gotta like your comedy deep-black.) Good script showcases Leoni’s ironic delivery. Director Dahl’s best work since his early-90s heyday of The Last Seduction and Red Rock West. Extras include a trailer and a making-of featurette.