w Delta z (The Killing Gene) * *
Director: Tom Shankland.
Screenplay: Clive Bradley.
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy, Sally Hawkins, Paul Kaye, Lauren Hood, Barbara Adair, Ashley Walters.
This film has, deceivingly, been pitched as “Saw” by way of “Se7en”. Firstly, it doesn’t have the originality of the first “Saw” installment and secondly, it is by no means, anywhere near as good as “Se7en”.
New York cops Eddie Argo (Stellan Skarsgard) and Helen Westcott (Melissa George) investigate a series of bizarre murders in which innocents are tortured in front of guilty loved ones who could (but don’t) volunteer to die in their place.
The fact that it’s a serial killer yarn is frankly, the only comparison that can be made with the films mentioned above. It has the atmosphere in abundance, looking very gritty and dangerous but all it achieves in doing, is reminding you that graphic violence in films is completely unnecessary, if the script is in place beforehand. Which this just doesn’t have. It strings us along with the old who-done-it? storyline but after half an hour of it’s nasty attitude and having a lack of identity with the characters, I couldn’t care less who done what, or why, when, or how. All I was aware of was that I couldn’t give a shit if any of them sneezed and their heads fell off. A shame really, as it uses a philsophical question as a good narrative tool. Asking “does altruism exist in nature?” In dealing with altruism it should have shown some of it’s own and saved us from this abusive assault. However, a short appearance from the very talented Tom Hardy and Stellan Skarsgard getting the lead role for a change, are plus points.
A film that really looks the part but leaves a rotten aftertaste and ultimately falls into torture-porn category.