Killing Time

on January 30, 1998 by Simon O'Ryan
   A more appropriate title would be "Wasting Time" for this "contemporary spaghetti western" set in London. Overly long, even at 89 minutes, this misshapen, sodden mess of a movie has very little going for it with the exception of proving how much better the Quentin Tarantinos of this world are at executing this kind of presumably clever crime drama.
   The plot, contrived to the point of needing title cards to explain it, involves a cop, Bryant (Craig Fairbrass), who hires an Italian hit woman, Maria (Kendra Torgan), to avenge a colleague's death at the hands of a cultured but brutal murderer, Reilly (Nigel Leach). When Maria hits Reilly's headquarters, she eliminates all of Reilly's henchmen, but discovers Reilly himself is out of town until that evening. With time to kill and speaking no English, Maria now has to deal with a band of inexperienced and bumbling low-level criminals that Bryant has coerced into killing Maria in a supposed effort to cover up his involvement.
   Unfortunately, despite the numerous killings and some striking cinematography (by Sam McCurdy), the film is agonizingly slow and amazingly stupid. The action sequences are poorly choreographed, the editing is sloppy and the dialogue scenes are basic and boring, making the overall effect completely amateurish. Watching blood coagulate would be far more exciting than anything director Bharat Nalluri shows us here. Nigel Leach and Kendra Torgan stand out simply because they have the slightest bit of presence in a cast that can't carry a bucket of water, much less the stale, static scenes that extend interminably of people waiting for something to happen. Films like this aren't released, they escape--and should be terminated on sight.    Starring Nigel Leach, Craig Fairbrass and Kendra Torgan. Directed by Bharat Nalluri. Written by Neil Marshall, Fleur Costello and Caspar Berry. Produced by Richard Johns. A Lion's Gate release. Drama/thriller. Rated R for strong violence and language, and for some sexuality. Running time: 89 min.
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