Today: February 22, 2024

Requiem for a Killer

If looks could kill or tell a story.

If looks could
kill or tell a story.

Sexy hit-girls,
we all love them. The ladies love
them because they offer strong female characters who kick the guys firmly in
the family jewels. The guys love
them for the same reason. From Nikita to Black Widow in The Avengers
there’s no beating a good old girl with a gun. Requiem For A Killer
would like to present us with just such a sexy ruthless killer, but
unfortunately gets bogged down in a plot that never really makes much
sense.

Lucrece (Melanie Laurent) is the best assassin
in the business. She specialises
in making her kills look like accidents or natural causes. But she’s had enough of the business
and wants to spend more time with her young daughter. Before she goes though her ‘agent’ I’Armenien (Tcheky Karyo) needs her for one last
job. Posing as a singer she must
infiltrate a concert rehearsal, high in the Swiss mountains, in order to take
out Alexander Child (Christopher Stills)
who has bought a distillery which is in the way of a crucial oil pipeline. The problem is a shady government wants
to keep Child alive and when the job doesn’t go to plan Lucrece finds herself
having to figure out who her replacement killer is.

The first hit we
see Lucrece sets the tone for something quite clever if slightly absurd. Not knowing who the target is, other
than he is allergic to cat hair, Lucrece releases kittens into a church, waits
for a sneeze and then poisons the communion wafer that will be, hopefully,
handed to that particular member of the congregation. And therein lies Requiem For A Killer’s biggest flaw, it
relies completely on coincidental plotting rather than well-planned
narrative.

There’s a kind of
romance between Lucrece and Childs, a whodunit mystery as to the unknown
assassin and a conspiracy thriller somewhere in the middle which soon gets
forgotten about. It wants to be a Hitchcock thriller come Luc Besson hit-girl romp. In trying to achieve so much it all
becomes horribly muddled.

For a first time
writer-director Jerome Le Gris falls flat on the writing duties, but manages to
inject a bit of suspense and visuals into the direction. Certainly the film looks impressive and
Gris certainly knows how to shoot a pretty girl with alluring pleasure,
although when that girl is Melanie Laurent perhaps it’s more the subject to
admire than way she is shot.

If there is a
redeeming feature of the film it is Laurent. Luminous and pouty in ways only a French girl such as
herself can pull off, she carries what is otherwise a mess of a film. She’s not so much a ruthless killing
machine as a woman with a dark past who happens to be very good at assassinating
people. And while the script makes
it murky why she is good or chooses this profession Laurent need only give that
dead-behind-the-eyes-look and you just know she’s the deadlier of the
species.

Requiem For A
Killer misses the target by a country mile, but with Laurent slinking around
doing her seductive thing there’s at least something pretty to look at.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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