Director Mark Steven Johnson takes a blunt approach to this action–thriller starring Hollywood bigwigs, John Travolta and Robert De Niro. Johnson shies away from none of the brutality in this two-man showdown (with a few small appearance from the likes of Milo Ventimiglia and Elizabeth Olin).
Still reeling from the events of the Serbian Bosnian war, Serbian veteran Emil Kovac (Travolta) seeks out his former captor Benjamin Ford (De Niro). Kovac has one purpose and that is to kill the man who left him for dead but not before making him atone for his sins.
Johnson sets up the movie beautifully; lulling the audience into Ford’s false sense of security after Kovac befriends him in a ‘friends close, enemies closer’ sort of way. It isn’t long before the bitter veteran reveals his true intentions with an arrow shot into Ford’s leg – how very post–modern. He then proceeds to devise a very interesting method for hanging a man upside-down. Wound first to give you a hint.
The tension in this movie is spot on. Johnson devises it so that it peaks and troughs at just the right time, creating the perfect balance between the calmer moments and the nail gnawing moments.
Of course, De Niro and Travola are effortless in their brilliance. Both take turns being the predator in this cat and mouse unfolding of events. Neither disappoint at anytime.
However it must be said, after a while the brutal tit for tat tussle – as magnificently grisly as it can be – does become a bit samey. It leaves the audience itching for something more from the story than two old men letting their inner demons out for playtime.
That being said the sound track is apt and manages to elevate the emotional capacity of each scene. Killing Season is a solid movie, definitely worth a watch.