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‘Boy Kills World’ – Review

‘Boy Kills World’ – Review


Three. Two. One. FIGHT! Moritz Mohr’s Boy Kills World is ready to crash into cinemas, and this is a full-on rush of action-anime-cartoon inspired glory that goes for it in every possible way, and the result is a pure cult film in the making!

“Boy” (Bill Skarsgård) vows revenge after his family is murdered by Hilda Van Der Koy (Famke Janssen), the deranged matriarch of a corrupt post-apocalyptic dynasty that left the boy orphaned, deaf and voiceless. Driven by his inner voice, one which he co-opted from his favorite childhood video game, Boy trains with a mysterious shaman (Yayan Ruhian) to become an instrument of death and is set loose on the eve of the annual culling of dissidents. Bedlam ensues as Boy commits bloody martial arts mayhem, inciting a wrath of carnage and blood-letting. As he tries to get his bearings in this delirious realm, Boy soon falls in with a desperate resistance group, all the while bickering with the apparent ghost of his rebellious little sister.

A first-time director, Moritz Mohr holds nothing back with Boy Kills World, an all-out action spectacle that draws on his love of Hong Kong action cinema, anime, Western-driven comic books and Saturday morning cartoons, and the result is a pure insane spectacle of candy-coloured fun! At its core, Boy Kills World is a straightforward and simple revenge film with “Boy” (Bill Skarsgård) seeking revenge on the fanatical overlords who killed his family, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get his revenge. What follows is a cranked-up 111 minutes of pure maniac creativity, and the result will flaw your whole being. From its bone-crunching fight scenes to innovative camera work, bizarre interpersonal reactions and strong, almost anti-violence message (and yes, I know that’s paradoxical), Boy Kills World is something totally fresh and unique, and marks Mohr out as a talent to keep a serious eye on.

Stepping into the arena and ready to lay on the beat down is rising star Bill Skarsgård, and he goes to town with this picture. Not only is he INCREDIBLY cut for the role, but this is a performance-driven entirely through non-verbal expression, and Skarsgård draws from Chaplin and Keaton in his performance as Boy. His performance is driven by expression and action, and he delivers plenty of emotion. There’s also the action part, and Skarsgård throws himself into the ringer as he takes on the army of the Van Der Koys, and all hell breaks loose as he unleashes his fists of fury! Skarsgård’s performance is complemented by the presence of H. Jon Benjamin as ‘his’ voice and his inner monologues are filled with plenty of humour and whimsy that only add to the fun.

Facing down Boy are the repellent Van Der Koys and their number one enforcer June 27 (Jessica Rothe). Famke Janssen, as the matriarchial Hilda Van Der Koy and ruler of the totalitarian hellscape, is a wicked force to behold, and her madness sets Boy off on his mission of revenge. Michelle Dockery has plenty of fun as Melanie Van Der Koy, Hilda’s sister, and a glammed-up Uber bitch who is the power behind the throne and whose erratic tantrums make her an utter scene stealer. Brett Gelman brings the hysterics as Gideon Van Der Koy, the muscle behind the Van Der Koy’s, who in reality is actually a starving artist desperate for attention, and he’s hilarious to watch. Finally Sharlto Copley’s Glen Van Der Koy is a Grade A idiot pretty boy who isn’t pretty for very long! Jessica Rothe rounds out the pack as the lethal yet honour-bound June 27, and she throws about a pair of tomahawks with lethal force that makes her a damn scary BOSS for Boy to take on.

Boy Kills World is a movie event of utter action OVERLOAD, and fight choreographer and stunt director Dawid Szatarski turns the volume up with the action fest, and the results are incredible to witness! Drawing on martial arts including Pencak Silat, Arnis, Thai Kickboxing and general Mixed Martial Arts, plus with the addition of plenty of blades and bullets at the ready, Boy Kills World is a full-on ballet of blood, guts and gore as Boy goes for it and unleashes his power as the ultimate weapon! Three stand-out fights include the film’s opening ‘Warehouse’ fight scene, the ‘Kitchen Cheese Grater’ fight, along with the penultimate’ BOSS LEVEL’ fight where it’s karambits at the ready, and it is a bloody, brutal and batshit crazy mix of bouts to watch. The way cinematographer Peter Matjasko captures all of it adds to the excitement and thrill, and his innovative camera work puts you right in the midst of the fight.

With its straight-up originality and total dash of madness, Boy Kills World is one of the best times I’ve had in a cinema all year. This is a thrilling, all-out action fest that doesn’t stop for a moment. Innovative and looking to do something different within the genre, it’s a pure rumble of creative action expression and is just straight-out fun!

Image: VVS Films