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  • Writer's pictureJamie

Boy Kills World - Review

It's nice to leave a film feeling good with just a little bit of violence based trauma, taking a break from a heavy drama talking about feelings, Boy Kills World is stupid and silly and so incredibly violent. I was admittedly unsure about the style initially as I felt like the humour was a bit predictable, but once I settled into the action, story and look of it, the jokes hit with me a lot more. With the release of this film, I can see the comparisons flooding in with Deadpool, Kick Ass, Kill Bill or Kingsmen being the main ones. I can see elements of those in this film but not enough that this feels like a cheap rip off of any of them. It has its own story and take on the action. The style is also very distinct and fast paced, with some brutal fight scenes that made me tense so hard that I am now inside out. 

Bill Skarsgård plays Boy, who is on a war path for revenge against the Van Der Koy family who killed his little sister and mother. He trains with a Shaman (Yayan Ruhian), thrusting us straight into a training montage where we see his character being broken down and built up again and again. We only hear Boy’s inner monologue, voiced by his favourite arcade game announcer, giving him a deep, very actiony voice that feels very separated initially and then once you get more into the story, is the only voice you can associate with the character. 

The Van Der Koy family are to blame for a recurring ceremony in a less fair Hunger Games type of event that wrangles up the hooligans on the streets to kill them and keep the city safe. They call this The Culling, and the most recent iteration of the event lines up with Boy’s plans for revenge, meeting some allies and enemies along the way, while he brutally murders many many expandable henchpeople.

The “Street Fighter” voice in the film is very integral to the plot, giving us most of the context for Boy as a character, who also builds the world around him thanks to the cast of characters we meet. The world is without too much explanation, not boring us with the details of every event leading to the way things are. We are thrust in and told to accept it. I think we get enough in the context of what is seen around the story to understand that we’re in some dystopian “utopia” with class divides and modern tech mixed with tech. Lovely. 

The action itself is where the film shines, with slick and brutal fights that ramp up in intensity from scene to scene, leading to a genuinely brutal and hard to watch final fight that does actually pack in a lot of emotional weight behind it. The film does give you enough story to grip on to, without slowing down the pace of the action and revenge plot trajectory. I think its a hard scale to balance with story and fighting but Boy Kills World gets it pretty spot on. 

Its creative in the presentation of the fights, with some gruesome kills and attacks that made the audience I was watching with, gasp and grimace. So this film is certainly not for the weak stomached losers who can’t handle a blade being run all the way up someone’s leg. 

The look of the film fits really well with the pacing, giving us a comic book type style to the visuals and the grimy set design of the outside juxtaposing the grandeur of the Van Der Koy’s world. Really disappointing to sink into being everyone else using the word “juxtapose” but sometimes it just fits too well not to.

The camera in the fight scenes feels like it sometimes dodges the action, fas if  it's right in on the action. My only complaint is that it sometimes seems a little too in it, taking you on a ride where you have to adjust your view and tune into what is happening, who’s hitting who. 

The sound is of course, cracky, squishy and purposefully intense. The punches hit hard and all feel like they hit with a force that would take my head clean off. There is nothing I want to see more in an action film than a punch that I know would disintegrate my bones. 

Boy Kills World is a directorial debut for Moritz Mohr, who kept on pushing with this idea until producers like Sam Raimi got on board to push it over the line and get it made to Mohr’s vision. You can see the influence on the presentation but the confidence that Mohr brings to this film makes me very excited for their journey upwards and any future projects they put their time into. Big fan


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