‘Killing Season’: Not worth the pain and torture
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
It might just be easier to believe John Travolta (in drag) playing a housewife in the movie musical ‘Hairspray’ than it is to watch him portray a former Serbian soldier out to hunt down a former military veteran played by Robert De Niro.
Carrying a thick accent around, Travolta, who also sports a thick beard and looks like a crazed Amish hunter, comes across as rather ridiculous and it is hard to take the film seriously.
Travolta plays Emil Kovac, a vicious soldier working as a bounty hunter. He takes on an assignment to hunt down Benjamin Ford (De Niro), a retired US soldier who also fought in the 1990s Yugoslav wars.
Benjamin has chosen to live in the Appalachian mountains, and Emil pretends to run into him there.
The two bond and exchange war stories, but on a hunting trip, Emil reveals his true intent.
There's plenty of back-and-forth between the two, as they cut, torture and shoot at each other to get confessions.
By the end of the film, they are practically bumping chests and crying in each other's arms.
There are scenes in the film that are gory, such as piercings of flesh, among others. After a while, you just want the torture to end and hope they kill each other.
The characters are not particularly interesting or well-developed, but Travolta's horrible accent is unbearable, serving to remind you that you're watching a very contrived movie.
The message about how war leaves its scars on everyone feels forced, and comes across as contradictory in a film that celebrates violence and finds ways for its characters to inflict pain.
‘Killing Season’ does have a few decent action set pieces, but it takes itself far too seriously and skims the surface of a heavy subject.
This pairing of the two actors also feels like a sad reminder that maybe, their best days are behind them as they put in performances that are not particularly engrossing to watch.