Film Reviews

Killing Gunther (2017)

killing gunther poster.jpg

Starring: Taran Killam,

Director: Taram Killam, Dave ‘Squatch’ Ward, Bobby Moynihan, Arnold Schwarzenegger

In the world of paid assassins, one man stands out from the crowd. A man code named, Gunther. Sick of him taking all the glory, a group of hitmen decide to take him out, and hire a film crew to document it all. But it seems like Gunther is always one step ahead of them…

A dark comedy, this film assembles an amusing cast of characters all who have a little backstory. The leader of the group, who can’t forget his ex, who left him for Gunther. The expert in poisons, who wouldn’t be out of place in a classic Bond film. The red neck explosives expert, who deep down wants to find the right girl… It’s a nice range of characters, and allows for some cute twists and amusing moments.

There’s something about the film that frustrates though, and it’s probably that you know that Arnold Schwarznegger is Gunther. You sit waiting for him to show up, and his role is actually pretty small and is only towards the end of the film. He makes a great play out of making a joke of himself and his 80’s action hero persona, which is great, but from the marketing, you get the impression that he’s going to be in the film from the start. And that would have made the film feel a little more even. Long scenes like that in the Karaoke bar and that the way that Gunther appears in disguise and is clearly a stand in actor feel like they slow down the plotting. But actually, if you weren’t waiting for the punchline and the star turn, you might enjoy the comedy a little more.

It’s an uneven film, sometimes delightful and gleefully dark, sometimes repeating jokes that aren’t that funny. But the central idea of the film is solid, and mostly works. It’s not perfect, but it is entertaining, especially once Arnie shows up. Perhaps a slightly straighter delivery  (it’s pretty OTT), and more of the action star the poster promises would elevate this film a little more.

See It If: Don’t see it for the Schwarznegger appearance, enjoy it for the way it sends up old action movie villains and goons. It’s fun. And also has a Cobie Smulders cameo.

2 thoughts on “Killing Gunther (2017)”

  1. Yeah, already kind of heard that the role Schwarzenegger had was relatively small. Still, the trailer looked fun, and after reading your review I will probably check it out at some point or other. As always great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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