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KILL ME THREE TIMES (review)

Review by Sharon Knolle
Produced by Tania Chambers, Laurence Malkin, Share Stallings
Written by James McFarland
Directed by Kriv Stenders
Starring Sullivan Stapleton, Alice Braga, Teresa Palmer, 
Callan Mulvey, Luke Hemsworth,  Bryan Brown 
and Simon Pegg

Simon Pegg leads the cast of this comic Aussie crime caper as a stylish assassin named Charlie Wolfe who learns that he’s not the only one trying to kill his latest target, Alice (Alice Braga of City of God).

In the small coastal town where Wolfe’s been summoned, everyone’s connected: There’s Alice’s abusive husband Jack (Callan Mulvey), his ambitious sister Lucy (Teresa Palmer of Warm Bodies) her meek, gambling-addicted dentist husband Nathan (Sullivan Stapleton of Animal Kingdom), and a more than usually corrupt cop, played with appropriate menace by Bryan Brown.

There’s also Alice’s lover, local garage owner Dylan; He’s played by Luke Hemsworth, who’s yet to make as big a splash as his more famous, hunkier brothers Chris and Liam.

After being hired by Alice’s husband to kill her, Wolfe witnesses Lucy and Nathan shoving her into the trunk of their car. Since Nathan owes a bundle in gambling debts, their plan is to kill Alice – passing her off as Lucy — and collect the insurance money.

Of course, nothing goes according to plan and soon everyone is scrambling for the bag of cash that Alice nicked from her husband’s safe as part of her plan to run off with Dylan. The double-crosses keep coming, as does the body count, as everyone’s carefully laid schemes spin wildly out of control.

Palmer makes a convincing femme fatale and Pegg is clearly enjoying himself as an assassin who’s not as good at his job as he thinks. It’s also fun to see an aging Brown, the heroic star of A Town Like Alice and FX,  as a villainous cop.

The criss-crossing plot reminded me of the noir-ish 1995 Nicolas Cage Red Rock West, in which he played a drifter who’s mistaken for an assassin, and immediately warns the wife (Lara Flynn Boyle) he’s been hired to kill that her husband wants her dead.

Although it’s not as enjoyable as Pegg’s films with Edgar Wright, Kill Me Three Times is still a breezy, entertaining 90 minutes. And if you want more murder and mayhem,  rent Red Rock West, which is also on iTunes right now.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Kill Me Three Times is available on iTunes and On Demand March 26, 2015 and in theaters April 10, 2015.
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