MAY I KILL U?

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 3rd January 2013

Director: Stuart Urban

Cast: Kevin Bishop, Frances Barber, Jack Doolan, Hayley-Marie Axe, Kasia Koleczek, Ali Craig, Tyson Oba and Rosemary Leach

Writer: Stuart Urban

Trailer: MAY I KILL U?

SEE Joe Pesci II’s review below…

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Kevin Bishop: Chinese Puzzle, All StarsA Few Best MenKeith Lemon, The Kevin Bishop Show (TV), Muppets’ Treasure Island
  • Frances Barber: Dr Who (TV), Goal 2, Goal, Suzie Gold, Shiner, Photographing Fairies, Soft Top Hard Shoulder, Secret Friends, Young Soul Rebels, We Think The World Of You, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, Prick Up Your Ears, A Zed and Two Noughts, White City
  • Jack Doolan: It’s a Lot, Green Street Hooligans, The FacilityCockneys Vs. ZombiesDemons Never DieCemetery Junction
  • Ali Craig: Outpost 2
  • Tyson Oba: Offender
  • Rosemary Leach: Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?, The Hawk, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, A Room With a View,
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One thought on “MAY I KILL U?

  1. MAY I KILL U? by Joe Pesci II

    Let’s get something straight here. Although this film attempts to achieve relevance through the occasional nod towards the internet, at no point are the words ‘May I Kill U’ written down (except in the title) so from this point on I am renaming it MAY I KILL YOU? So there.

    You may have guessed that I am not a fan of MAY I KILL YOU? This is correct. There are many reasons for this, too many to fit into this review. But a lot of them can be summed up by the words ‘Kevin Bishop’. There now follows a vitriolic attack on this reprobate, who I have no doubt is of dubious moral character, who I suspect has extremely perverse appetites, and belongs to whichever racial and religious subgroups you, dear reader, find most disturbing. I have little doubt that this talent-free freak will one day be exposed as being some sort of weird experiment to see just how little ability it takes to make a star. Following his Jim Hawkins in the under-rated MUPPETS TREASURE ISLAND his career seemed to have pottered along unspectacularly until he drifted into Channel 4 sketch comedies, whereupon some idiot appears to have decided he was a comedy genius, and thus the frighteningly bad The Kevin Bishop Show was born. And now MAY I KILL YOU? has been unleashed on a public, much of which remains blissfully unaware of this hideous performer. Bishop’s ‘style’ is usually to curl the corner of his upper lip, affect a crazed stare and speak as if he’s doing a very bad impersonation of Mick Jagger. Alas, as he is required to act in MAY I KILL YOU? he is unable to do this. Instead he speaks his lines in a monotone (presumably designed to demonstrate the character’s comedy brain damage) and looks like he wants to go home.

    The film’s hilarious premise is simple: after taking a knock when someone pushes him from his bike, our hero (a cycling policeman – a concept which is clearly meant to be comedy gold) suddenly becomes psychotic and starts to murder criminals. He obtains their permission (and does so with incredibly polite words, as the title demonstrates: not ‘can I kill you’ but ‘may I kill you’) then posts the slayings on the internet, thus becoming a Youtwitterface star.

    The film complicates matters by telling the story in flashback, and we find a black comedy situation unfolding as Bishop is being held prisoner by Jack Doolan in a house where skeletons are (almost literally) tumbling out of closets. But this flashback structure is fatally flawed, mostly by Bishop’s inept performance. There seems to be no difference between his character pre and post bump on head.

    The film’s focus on showcasing Bishop’s enervating lack of comic skills means that no-one else gets much of a look-in, for which all concerned are surely grateful. Frances Barber enjoys herself as Bishop’s bitter mother (though I still don’t understand why she’s bathing him) but looks like she might be in a completely different film. And Rosemary Leach turns up as a pensioner that Bishop decides to execute for shoplifting (he’s brain damaged you see! Isn’t that hilarious!?). She too seems to be channelling the spirit of some distant, different film. No-one else can do anything with characters which have no grounding in humanity whatsoever.

    The film’s job is to raise guilty laughs at things we ‘shouldn’t’ laugh at. So its targets are things which might reasonably be considered offensive: mental illness, hitting women, sex trafficking, and rape (leading to the deathless line ‘Anyone else here speak English and been raped?’ You had to be there). It fails, not because these are subjects that are unfit for comedy, but because it’s just not funny. This is partly because of Kevin Bishop, partly because the film seems to live in some weird world of its own, but mostly because it’s stupid, implausible, half-hearted bilge. And because Kevin Bishop’s in it. There is, after all, nothing intrinsically funny about the world’s unfunniest comic actor pushing a woman off a wall. It could have been funny if a better actor was doing it, if the script was sharper, if the character’s comedy brain damage was explored in a more interesting way than Bishop just suddenly twitching and staring, and if the scene was shot and edited completely differently.

    I suppose we’ve all fumed incomprehendingly over some villain’s human rights being given precedence over those of their victim, and so a comedy vigilante film seems a good idea. But presumably we’re meant to be on Bishop’s side? After all (SPOILER ALERT) he gets away with it, and he gets the girl, even though he’s murdered his own mum! (Mind you, she was a prostitute! Oh the blackness of this hilarious comedy!) And then there’s the sub-plot involving the comedy wife beater. Bishop kills him! Yay! So the beaten wife decides to seduce Bishop! What bizarre world does this film inhabit? But Bishop’s tedious, laugh-free performance, devoid of charm or interest, just generates homicidal thoughts. Shouldn’t we be protected from this tripe?

    Not one scene rings true, not one line of dialogue seems likely, not one character is believable. That this film even exists is depressing enough (on at least two fronts: the fact that someone decided to make a vehicle for Kevin Bishop; and that we live in a society with so little faith in its own structures that such an attempt at satire is even imaginable). Even more depressing though, is sitting through the damn thing.

    And yet…there was potential. The house of multiple deaths, the relationship between mother and son, the comedy vigilante idea, the internet phenomenon idea, any or all of these could have, in completely different hands and done in a completely different way, with different purpose, produced a decent film. Provided that Mr Bishop is safely dead before they make it.

    (Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that anyone should kill Kevin Bishop. This would be counterproductive.)

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