1 out of 10

Release Date: 12th June 2015

Director: Neil Jones (Deranged / The Reverend (2012) / Risen / Stag Night of The Dead)

Cast: Martin Kemp, April Pearson, Patrick Bergin, Phil Davis, Nick Moran, Anouska Mond, Tony Denham, Sebastian Street, Chris Brazier, Johnny Palmiero, Peter Brooke, Dani Dyer, Donna Air, Lucy Pinder, Simon Nader with Bruce Payne and Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Simon Cluett

Trailer: AGE OF KILL

age-of-kill-posterThe credit sequence was nice. That’s all I can say in Age of Kill‘s favour. This is the worst film for sometime from producer Jonathan Sothcott and it’s with a heavy heart that I write this because he’s worked hard to improve his output only to land straight back where he started. His breakout film Vendetta was followed by the solid Top Dog, I didn’t like We Still Kill The Old Way but it was still passable in some departments. Age of Kill is terrible in every department. Trying in vain to grab onto the coat tails of the new ‘ageing action man’ sub-genre accidentally kick-started by Liam Neeson with Taken, Age of Kill does little to thrill or make use of Kemp or the rest of it’s experienced cast.Much of the blame can be put at director Neil Jones’ doorstep who does little to help his actors improve on the atrocious plot and script. Neil Jones has a long track-record for releasing some toxic film shit and is fast shaping up to be a skint British Uwe Boll.  Sloppy direction, badly choreographed and lensed scenes leave established actors stranded bare-assed in some of the worst executed scenes of 2015 thanks to his lack of care, skill or ambition to at least try to improve his skill-set.

Poor Martin Kemp has fared better as a director recently (TOP DOG), taking the lead here will do him no favours. He showed how good he can be in the recent Danny Dyer vehicle, Assassin reminding us of his break out The Krays. The non-character on show here is a bit of an embarrasment and needs to be forgotten very quickly, as none of the shit on display here is his fault (except for signing on).

Kemp plays government assassin Sam Blake. Six months after his latest mission goes wrong and his team get disbanded, he finds himself being blackmailed by an unknown tormentor who demands that Sam kill six people (one an hour) or the people close to him will begin to die instead.  So it’s kill these people or others will die. The baddie has also kidnapped his dopey daughter Dani Dyer (VENDETTA). The police led by the dimmest cop on film (ANOUSKA MOND – ASSASSIN) are hot on his trail, only because its what film cops do as no real detection is on display here.  On Sam’s kill list is a well-known nationalist, Dixon (NICK MORAN – ST GEORGE’S DAY), so begins a count down as the police try to work out whats happening and attempt to save him for a sniper’s bullet? And what’s the baddie’s real agenda? My interest flickered for half a second when the killer is eventually unmasked and asked to explain himself.

Never has such a good cast been held to ransom by such a bad script and direction. It’s hack filmmaking at it’s worst, as fight scene after fight scene is botched and rushed. A fight on a staircase between Sam and two of the oldest chavs in the world is particularly bad. Another scene has Sam shoot down a helicopter – it makes no sense and although it heightens the films ambitions, it still looks like an bad spoof of a scene from The Expendables. Why is the script littered with unneccessary Americanisms too? For instance, Bruce Payne’s (RE-KILL) Prime Minister says that he ‘ran for office’. Elsewhere in the toilet paper-quality script people drive SUVs and go about finding guns in the ‘trunk’ of automobiles? Poor Anouska Mond who is the leadpolice detective. She has all the worst lines which make her out to be the dimmest cop in London. At one point she gives her grizzled and seasoned cops a lesson in detecting 101 – it’s like she’s teaching a class of infants. Then there’s Dexter Fletcher (MUPPETS MOST WANTED) who turns up as London’s best, most secret sniper sporting ten afros on his head and a gun stolen from an Imperial Stormtrooper (also see DVD cover above!). Surely snipers don’t have Kate Bush hair-dos (ahhhh Babushka Babuskaaaa aiiiiaghhh!) as they usually want to stay hidden and wouldn’t a gun like that have been designed to destroy tanks and not for administering centimetre prescision execution work.  The hardware in Age of Kill is all wrong with the actors run around sporting their guns like a child would a banana substitute. An early scene in which Sam shows his daughter how to shoot is rushed and a bad sign of all that is to follow, kick back is not taken into consideration (would you put you hand on someone’s shoulder as they’re about to take a shot? / sample cliches like calculating wind speed and direction when the gun isn’t even advanced enough to make such adjustments through its sighting alos agitate).  I could go on but there’s so much bad, rushed and shoddy about this hack job.  I’m no longer holding out little hope for Richwater Films as Sothcott & co’s new one is Bonded In Blood 2 or yet-another-Essex Boys movie.  It’s a shame they’ve given up on putting out genre films with a professional shine. Please don’t prove that Vendetta was a happy fluke.

1 out of 10 – This is the worst film I’ve seen with established name actors in for a very long time. This is a throwback to Jonathan Sothcott‘s early productions like Unarmed & Dangerous or Dead Cert. It’s a shocker and it throws him back in the film ‘dog house’ with his old mates Paul Tanter and Simon Phillips as far as Britpic is concerned. So bad, it has to have been a spoof.

Another review by Joe Pesci II is found below…. Read on…



One thought on “AGE OF KILL

  1. AGE OF KILL – review by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II

    Behold the mighty Martin Kemp as he shoots down a helicopter! Gasp as he cunningly hides under a table in a garden centre! Gaze on in astonishment as he argues on the phone with a crazy terrorist! Marvel as Martin achieves these feats without breaking sweat or exhibiting any emotion other than a kind of vaguely benign bemusement! Welcome to AGE OF KILL, a film whose syntactically terrible title indicates just how bad the film itself is going to be.

    A prologue shows that Kemp loves nothing more than teaching his daughter (Dani Dyer – character trait: obedient) to shoot at bottles (you’d think that her learning this skill would come in handy at a crucial moment later on – it doesn’t). And then we move to Somewhere Abroad for the first big set-piece. Kemp is a secret service sniper who, acting on orders from MI5/6/7 boss Phil Davis shoots an innocent man dead. Perhaps the original idea was to examine the implications of the deaths of innocent people in the fight against terrorism. Or more likely it was just a way of kickstarting the plot.

    Despite it being a silly accident, Davis gets sacked by an improbably grand Patrick Bergin (he’s so grand he wanders about with a cane). Davis realises the errors of his ways, but instead of learning his lesson and moving on, he becomes somewhat bitter and twisted and concocts a plan which will force his former subordinate, the manly Martin Kemp, into committing a series of murders of seemingly randomly assorted men whilst a racist mob is charging through an ethnically diverse area of London. Davis phones Kemp up (Kemp having enjoyed a pleasant night with Lucy Pinder – character trait: good cook) but Davis has disguised his voice! This means Kemp – a top MI5/6/7 operative – can’t identify him! The audience on the other hand identifies him immediately. No-one speaks like Phil Davis, and he speaks a lot here. Meanwhile he shoots Pinder and kidnaps Dyer, so Kemp has no option but to go off on a carefully scheduled rampage (Davis requires him to commit one murder on the hour for six hours – though I’m sure that number changes at one point). And whenever Kemp doesn’t do as he’s told (or gets caught in traffic) Davis goes round shooting cafés full of people (we never see these massacres, presumably for budgetary reasons rather than because of a less-is-more restraint). One wonders at the mechanics of all this. At one point Kemp shoots someone getting out of bed and peering blearily out of the window. What if he hadn’t done that? Presumably Davis would have had to pop into another café. But the police are hot on Kemp’s trail! Led by Anouska Mond (character trait: feisty) the police never come close to catching the wily Kemp. But Mond works out Kemp’s not the real bad guy and the real bad guy wants to blow up Nick Moran’s Nigel Farage-a-like politician. So Mond saves the day and the racists by persuading Moran (without evidence, impressive rhetoric or even any good acting) that his march might be a bit of a bad idea. It all ends happily with Patrick Bergin hiring Dexter Fletcher and his not-at-all conspicuous hair to fake Kemp’s death.

    Why Davis comes up with this plan is unclear. And he’d have gotten away with it if only he hadn’t authored his own downfall by manipulating the kinetic Kemp into

    doing his bidding then teaming him up with obligatory tart with a heart April Pearson (character trait: resourceful) so that they could pit their wits together and defeat him. The bit where Davis pulls off his mask to reveal he is the baddie is indeed a surprise moment – the surprise being that we in the audience didn’t realise that it was meant to be a surprise.

    The film has a terrible title, weird politics, poor plotting, uninvolving action sequences which seem to be edited together at random, unlikely character motivation, bad acting and two twists visible from hundreds of miles away, yet these are not the worst of its sins. This is a film which sets itself up as a series of races against time. The film frequently superimposes the time on screen, but someone’s been watching Sherlock so instead of the image flicking up urgently like in 24, it slopes in, wrapped round pillars or hiding under cars. And yet, at no point does the film feel like a race against time. People pop up all over London with no sense of time having passed, and with no sense that they’ve actually done any moving. There is no build up in tension, no sense of threat. And, Kemp being such a fine killer, even the scenes where he’s reluctantly doing the killing lack excitement or regret, the murders being done efficiently and without the film-makers bothering to turn the victims into characters so that we can explore the horrible mess that Davis is creating.

    For a low-budget bit of nonsense AGE OF KILL fields a surprisingly large big(gish) name cast. Alas, no-one can give life to the cadaverous script, and every actor emerges at best tarnished, or, at worst, looking like they’ve forgotten what acting is.

    Presumably Danny Dyer couldn’t get time off from Eastenders so Martin Kemp slithers around with all the urgency of someone who’s late for a meeting they don’t want to go to. Strangely the film doesn’t focus on him as much as you might think; for a long stretch he only pops up on the hour to do his murdering then on the half hour for a bit of a run-around. Instead much of the film follows April Pearson trying to look too good for this sort of thing (and failing) and Anouska Mond, the victim of a horrible miscarriage of justice in the casting department: she’s about thirty years too young and possibly of a different race and gender to the role as originally written. Phil Davis sneers reliably. Elsewhere Bruce Payne serves up a somnambulistic cameo as a prime minister who (much like his real-life counterpart) seems to have no idea what’s going on but vaguely assumes everything will be all right in the end maybe.

    Fans of the loopy let’s pretend SAS film HE WHO DARES and its unhinged sequel will love AGE OF KILL. The films have the same sensibility, the same attitude to the world, the same terrible acting, the same crazy plans and rubbish plots, the same terrible dialogue, the same belief in the stupidity of their audience. Maybe they could team up for AGE OF DARES?

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