Film Review

B Movie Glory: Killing Season

As much as Killing Season has it’s flaws, and would have been better suited to a half hour short film rather than a slightly stretched out feature, it has strong points as well and entertains as best it can as a passable genre flick. Going the rugged survival/revenge route, a low key Robert Deniro plays Ben, decorated veteran who makes his homestead in the remote isolation of the the Smoky Mountains, scarred from battle both physically and mentally, ready to rest. Down time isn’t in his cards just yet, however, as trouble arrives in the shape of John Travolta as Emil, a Serbian/Bosnian warrior with wounds of his own and one big unresolved grudge against Ben. Both skilled hunters and survivalists, the two engage in a deadly geriatric cat and mouse game against a spectacular wilderness backdrop until the pasts and intentions of both are laid bare, and that inevitable climax rolls on in. Their close quarters warfare is quite fun, surprisingly brutal and just cartoonish enough to elicit a dark laugh here and there. Speaking of laughs, Travolta is so oddly characterized here he begs the query “Are you for real?”, sporting a dime-store fake beard and warbling out the most unconvincing Eastern European accent since John Malkovich in Rounders. That aside though, his actual acting isn’t half bad, especially in the final confrontation with Deniro that contains pathos the film never knew it had. The real allure here is the Smoky Mountain scenery, and I would give a shout out to the cinematographer but honestly with a location this good, a six year old and a smartphone could point n’ shoot and it would look like something Deakins wrought. This is by no means a great film, but is it entertaining and engaging? Absolutely, and any of these critics ripping it a new one on all fronts are just bitter, it seems.

-Nate Hill

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