Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Killing Gunther (2017)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Killing Gunther (2017)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller
Length: 1h 32min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Folktale Productions, Ingenious Media, Miscellaneous Entertainment, Rookfield Productions, Rowdy Row Productions, RuYi Media, StarStream Media, WWKG Productions, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Saban Films
Director: Taran Killam
Writer: Taran Killam
Actors: Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Hannah Simone, Amitai Marmorstein, Peter Kelamis, Paul Brittain, Aubrey Sixto, Amir Talai, Aaron Yoo, Allison Tolman, Ryan Gaul, Steve Bacic, Cobie Smulders, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Blurb from IMDb: A group of eccentric assassins are fed up with Gunther, the world's greatest hitman, and decide to kill him, but their plan turns into a series of bungled encounters as Gunther seems to always be one step ahead.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’m sure I saw the trailer for Killing Gunther at some point, but I didn’t remember it at all. As a result, I did not expect the mockumentary style that greeted me on the movie’s start. I had to recalibrate my expectations, especially once I realized it was also a parody flick.
If you look into the reviews for Killing Gunther, try to remember that parodies rarely do well with critics. Not unless they’re of Blazing Saddles (1974) fame and quality. It’s rare for critics to give most parody flicks a fair shake. They judge the entire sub-genre by serious comedy standards, and that doesn’t really work. Parodies should only be judged based on how they compare to other parodies. That’s always been my take on it.
The big issue with Killing Gunther, what caused the audience score to reflect even more negativity than the critics’, was the advertising.
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator, Iron Mask, Aftermath) is splashed all over the promotional material. I watched the trailer, after I finished the film, and was shook by just how much he was featured in it. Audiences were expecting him to be the main character because of that – but he’s not. He’s in the story for about 15 minutes.

Whoever oversaw the trailer and posters for Killing Gunther shot the whole project in the foot. Not only would it have had more of a chance at impressing audiences without showing Arnie, but the story itself would have been better if he had been kept a secret until the last moment.
It’s all very unfortunate, because the movie is actually good.
Killing Gunther is funny and ridiculous. It even utilizes some interesting camera movements near the end that I haven’t seen in other mockumentaries. The shaky cam never gets to intolerable levels, and there are some decent actors involved – other than Arnold. Sure, the acting can be a little over the top – but it’s by design.
All-in-all, it’s a solid parody that lost out by lying to audiences in the advertising.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 46%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 28%
Metascore – 53%
Metacritic User Score – 4.9
IMDB Score –4.8/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 3.5/5
P.S. Some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scenes during the credits, and a longer scene after.
Movie Trailer:

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