India’s Intense, Ultra-Violent Actioner Offers Must-See Deaths By Fire Extinguisher


Summary

  • Indian cinema’s rise continues with Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s Kill, featuring intense action inspired by The Raid.
  • The story offers unique twists on the one-man army formula, namely in Amrit’s vulnerability and failed attempts to save passengers.
  • Despite character development shortcomings and some limitations in the train setting, Kill delivers a thrilling and subversive action experience.

Indian cinema has been on a steady international rise over the past few years, whether it be the Oscar-winning epic RRR, the record-breaking sci-fi epic Kalki 2898 AD or Dev Patel’s explosive directorial debut Monkey Man. With the upcoming release of Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s Kill, the country’s international rise in filmmaking is certainly going to continue in spite of some of the movie’s underwhelming elements.

Bhat’s Kill stars Lakshya as Amrit, an army commando who journeys with his best friend and fellow soldier Viresh to meet with the love of his life, Tanya Maniktala’s Tulika, after learning her train tycoon father has arranged for her to be married to someone else. With a plan to meet her in New Delhi and spend time together, Amrit and Viresh surprise her aboard the train taking her to the country’s capital. This heartwarming reunion is cut short when a group of ruthless bandits attempt to hijack the train for their own mysterious objective, making for a heart-pounding ride.

Kill Certainly Holds Nothing Back With Its Action

Bollywood is no stranger to the action genre, but Kill is by far one of the most no-holds-barred outings yet, one that looks to have been inspired by a wide range of styles. Unlike many recent one-man army movies that have pulled from the Keanu Reeves-led John Wick movies, Bhat looks to have been inspired by the likes of Gareth Evans’ The Raid movies, particularly with the claustrophobic setting and little use of guns throughout the movie.

The movie also delivers some of the most intense deaths by a fire extinguisher ever seen in cinema.

This, in turn, leads to some of the most brutal action scenes in recent memory. Amrit makes surprisingly effective use of his crowded surroundings for maximum damage to the group of train bandits, whether it be slamming their heads against nearby doors and sinks, or the close-quarters architecture of the coaches to narrowly avoid their weapons and attacks. The movie also delivers some of the most intense deaths by a fire extinguisher ever seen in cinema, showcasing Bhat’s grit and creativity in wanting to set Kill apart from other Indian action movies.

Despite the action being the movie’s biggest strength, and the setting making for some skillful choreography, it does create a few issues in the overall shooting of the fighting. Where The Raid and John Wick have used their larger settings for wider shots and fewer cuts between hits, Bhat finds himself somewhat limited with the space of the train, occasionally taking away from the stylish and hard-hitting fights Amrit and Viresh engage in throughout the movie.

The Story Offers A Few Nice Twists (In Spite Of Its Simplicity)

One element of Kill that ultimately left me feeling somewhat divided was the movie’s overall story. Like the aforementioned John Wick movies, as well as Liam Neeson’s Taken franchise and Denzel Washington’s Equalizer trilogy, Bhat aims for a generally simple setup for the hard-hitting action, quickly establishing Amrit’s status as a soldier and his relationship with Tulika. The movie also doesn’t take long to get to the catalyst of the bandits terrorizing the passengers aboard the train and Amrit’s attempts to stop them.

Despite the more simple set up, Bhat does offer a few unique twists to the one-man army formula, namely the fact that Amrit is not an invincible force to be reckoned with. There are multiple instances in Kill in which he is brought down by some of the foes he faces, including being knocked out and brought to the leader of the bandits on multiple occasions. It’s also interesting to watch as Amrit fails numerous times to save various innocent passengers on the train, something not often seen in similar action movies, as the heroes are generally shown failing to only save one or two innocents.

Kill Could Benefit From A Little Deeper Character Work

While the action and story offer a few unique twists to the genre, including a title card that isn’t revealed until roughly 45 minutes into the movie, Kill is a little thin when it comes to its overall character development. The bandits frequently make mention of a target they’re searching for onboard the train, though it’s never explicitly stated why they’re looking for them. The movie does attempt to humanize its villains with their reactions to the deaths of their family members, but a better exploration of their motivations would have made for an even more subversive story.

In a post-Monkey Man action world, in which Patel showed just as much devotion to the social commentary at the heart of his story, Kill could better benefit from a deeper plot. Between its lead character being in the army to the mysterious motives of its villains, there is plenty of room for Bhat to have expanded the movie beyond a straightforward actioner. That being said, thanks to the movie’s skillfully executed and relentless action and a couple of major twists, Kill largely overcomes its few hurdles to be an absolute thrill ride.

Kill is now playing in theaters.

Kill Movie Poster

When army commando Amrit (Lakshya) finds out his true love Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) is engaged against her will, he boards a New Delhi-bound train in a daring quest to derail the arranged marriage. But when a gang of knife-wielding thieves led by the ruthless Fani (Raghav Juyal) begin to terrorize innocent passengers on his train, Amrit takes them on himself in a death-defying kill-spree to save those around him — turning what should have been a typical commute into an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride.

Pros

  • The action is skillfully executed and some of the most brutal put to film.
  • Nikhil Nagesh Bhat’s story offers a number of unique twists to its simple setup.
  • Lakshya’s Amrit feels like a real human being, frequently being beaten down by his enemies.
Cons

  • The villains feel generally underdeveloped.
  • Some of the action feels a tad choppy in its editing.
  • The story feels like it could use something deeper.



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