First Kill (2017)

  • Time: 97 min
  • Genre: Action | Thriller
  • Director: Steven C. Miller
  • Cast: Bruce Willis, Hayden Christensen, Gethin Anthony


In an attempt to reconnect with his son Danny, successful Wall Street broker Will takes his family on a vacation to the cabin where he grew up. While Will and Danny are hunting, their trip takes a deadly turn when they witness the murder of a crooked police officer as a bank robbery goes awry. When Danny is taken hostage by the criminals, Will is forced to help them evade the police chief investigating the murder and recover the stolen money in exchange for his son’s life.

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  • Will and Danny are father and son. Together, they leave the big city with Will’s wife in tote. All three of them head to Will’s hometown where Will and Danny plan to reconnect on a hunting trip. While on said trip, they witness some criminal behavior involving dirty cops and bank robbers. That’s the crux of First Kill, my latest review.

    In “Kill”, Hayden Christensen and Ty Shelton (this is his acting debut) respectively play Will and Danny. Their performances are much stronger than the movie they are in. Now “Kill” does have a couple of enthralling, opening scenes but it takes a while to really get going. All sense of intrigue and inching tension is sorely missing. Added to that, First Kill is a generic thriller whose production design gives off the vibe of sheer minimalism. Yup, this flick is hardly the “first” of its kind.

    Helmed by Steven C. Miller (a possible director pseudonym) and filmed entirely in the town of Granville, Ohio, “Kill” has pedestrian action sequences, a drawn-out approach (despite a short running time of 97 minutes), timeworn kidnap situations, and a severe level of predictability. You know who the bad guys are literally within the first half hour.

    Speaking of bad guys, well Bruce Willis gives yet another phoned-in gig as First Kill’s depraved, police chief (spoiler alert). He is mediocre when it comes to playing any type of heavy. In jest, Steven C. Miller and Brian A. Miller (I’m pretty sure they are brothers) continue to show off Bruce as their pseudo-celebrity muse. They give him monosyllabic dialogue and bring out the worst in his trouper acumen. Basically, the Millers fail to realize that Bruce is better off as the scruffy anti-hero.

    In conclusion, a remake of Death Wish is being released in November of this year. Lets hope star Willis fairs better than with the inclusive conch that is “Kill”. Bottom line: First Kill heralds Steven C. Miller as a filmmaker who is content on being a hack because his stuff never seems to make it to the dark end of a movie theater. He uses his locations (or location) sparingly, he furnishes plot twists and turns that are clearly foreseeable, and he doesn’t supply a script that utilizes the plausibility of common law protocol. Heck, you might as well skip First Kill and just see something like “First” Blood instead. Rating: 1 and a half stars.

    Rating: 1.5 out of 4 stars

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