This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Gert Verbeek’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
Killers is a movie about an experienced Japanese psychopath and his not so experienced Indonesian disciple. The movie has a lot of amateurs on both sides of the camera. Let me give just a few examples of onscreen amateurism:
- Indonesian journalist Bayu Aditya (Oka Antara) forgets to use his camera at the start of a press conference where a female colleague is depending on him.
- When the man is robbed in a taxi the two armed thieves should have been satisfied with the money. Instead they give the unarmed Bayu plenty of time to kill them both. Inspired by Japanese psychopath Nomura Shuhei (Kazuki Kitamura) he films the dying men and uploads the footage on the snuff movie website they both visit. If Nomura is able to trace Bayu within a few minutes why can’t the authorities do the same?
- When at least twenty body guards jump on Bayu during a chase scene in a hotel they let him slip through their fingers as if he is a piece of soap.
- Hisae (Rin Takanashi) is running a flower shop in the quietest part of a large Japanese city where there’s not much chance of attracting a lot of costumers. Was she sleeping during her marketing study? She tries to kill herself and her autistic son by standing on the road in the middle of the night when there’s almost no traffic at all. Nomura Shuhei is the only witness of the failed suicide attempt.
- Nomura puts one of his victims in the trunk of his car behind a packed dance club where he has just killed a pimp in a rest room nobody else seems to use. Two policemen step out of their car to ask the nervous looking killer for is ID. They both fail to see the woman trying to escape and when they get a call about a killing in a dance club they drive away (?!). This scene is supposed to be funny.
Plot and characterisations are poorly developed. If psychopath Nomura sees his beloved dead sister in every female victim why does he torture and kill them? If making love to his victims is not part of his routine why does the movie open with a love making scene? Divorced journalist Bayu is very frustrated because of his failed marriage and because he could not proof the corrupt and violent activities of the infamous politician Dharma (Ray Sahetapy). Encouraged by Nomura he slips into the Dharma’s mansion where for some reason there are no guards. Inside he catches a press agent abusing a chained child. What more proof does he need? Instead of calling the authorities Bayu sets fire to the man and films the moment.
Hisae’s son looks more like a bored kid to me than showing any signs of autism. When during a conversation with Hisae Nomura suggests killing the boy she is shocked and rightfully so. It’s not very clear why she still wants to meet Nomura, alone and in his creepy looking house. I guess it’s one of those horror clichés.
How is Nomura able to find Bayu’s house and isn’t it too much of a coincidence Bayu is hit by Dharma’s car right at the moment he leaves the alley to walk in Nomura’s direction?
The acting is pretty bad and gets worse when Bayu and Nomura try to speak English. The madder Bayu gets the more he starts to scream with his eyes wide open. Heated discussions turn into shouting contest between drooling psychopaths.
The directing Mo Brothers try to make a coherent movie out of two different story lines. It’s rather difficult to develop a story when it’s constantly being interrupted by the other story. The movie lacks a fluid rhythm and drags along for 2 hours and seventeen minutes.