Movie Review – Killing Gunther (2017)

Guns and comedy!

BQB here with a review of the indie action comedy film, “Killing Gunther.”

Meh.  At the outset, I was a little disappointed.  The promotional artwork for the film show Arnold Schwarzenegger extensively, indicating that Arnold plays notorious hitman “Gunther” and a team of hitmen assemble to take him down.

Technically, that’s true.  However, Arnold’s presence in the film comes late and is more or less one step above being a glorified cameo.  In reality, comedian Taran Killam leads an ensemble cast of killers he has recruited to meet his ultimate goal – “Killing Gunther.”

Bobby Moynihan, Alison Tolman and other funny people pop in throughout the film.

Oddly, the film is told “documentary style” similar to sitcoms like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.”  It seems unlikely because it’s just doubtful that a bunch of criminals would admit to and/or engage in so much criminal activity on film but if you grant the film a little leeway there are times when it actually gets funny.

At first I was disappointed as I was expecting an Arnold filled film only to get Killam instead.  However, Killam’s character grew on me.  As the film progresses, we learn that Hammond, Killam’s alter ego, has been abandoned his entire life and if he could just kill the world’s most notorious hitman, he could prove his life had meaning.  Adding to the motivation is the fact that Gunther boinked Hammond’s ex-girlfriend, played by Killam’s real life love Cobie Smulders of “How I Met Your Mother” fame.

It’s weird.  I found myself caring about the characters.  The only laughs for me came at the end when Arnold fools the team with a series of unlikely disguises.  The credits roll with Arnold singing a country western song in his Austrian accent.

Mixed feelings.  I loved Arnold as a kid and there was a time when if the film included Arnold, it was a guarantee it would be good.  I can’t knock the guy.  He’s done way more with his life than I have.  I just wonder if there aren’t a  few better roles for this guy rather than him just acting like a goofball on screen.

Then again, he looks like he really enjoys doing it.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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