Sunday, 12 April 2015

REVIEW - GOOD KILL (ANDREW NICCOL)


Andrew Niccol at least knows where to place his camera. Whether his storytelling arsenal is as keenly developed or not, whether his impressive visual compositions carry any significant metaphorical or philosophical weight or not, he at least knows what looks good and why it looks good. Good Kill looks good, and that's certainly its finest quality; this neat little drama definitely benefits from the breadth it is supplied by Niccol's simple understanding of how to please one's eyes. And more than pleasing the eyes, it's in Good Kill's aesthetic scheme that it earns its greatest and most lasting attribute - he successfully delineates the dislocation at the core of his screenplay via perceptive visual design. In Andrew Niccol's Las Vegas, all human beings are aliens, detached from any sort of identifiable human society, here also hemmed in by the technology that they have become so dependent upon. That's a common theme for this director; an extension further into politics than yet to date is powerfully handled only as far as his immediate comprehension itself extends, and it's here that Good Kill may seem most limited. Functional dialogue and a tendency to stereotype a little too swiftly diminish the quality of this film at its centre, and no amount of slick cinematography can cover for these crucial mistakes. And goodness knows we don't need another white guilt movie, which is what Good Kill may have best been remembered as were it not for Niccol's fine eye. He knows where to place his camera, and that's a blessing, particularly in a movie like this.