Dir. James Mark (Canadian Premiere)
David Lee (Chris Mark), a troubled high school student, struggles with strange dreams/visions. In these dreams/visions, he hears a mysterious voice telling him ‘to kill’. He lives with his ‘uncle’ Patrick, who gives David medication to help him cope. At school, David appears to be socially awkward. He has one female friend who seems to like him, as much as he likes her.
One day in class, a SWAT-like team storms into the class aiming to apprehend David. They have to “secure the subject.” Here is where things get a bit confusing but also kind of interesting.
As he is being apprehended, David has one of his visions that tells him ‘to kill’ again. His eyes shine strangely, and he starts to kick some real butt. He manages to escape this time. He tries to look for his uncle for help. When he does, the baddies are right behind him. The uncle gets taken and David runs again. At this point, it is not quite clear who these baddies are. From what plays out in other scenes, there appears to be a sinister man of Japanese descent who is trying to garner the energy from ‘spirits’ for evil purposes. His company is part of some weird experiments on young people, and the baddies are trained to capture/kill anyone who is a threat to this man and his institution.
Throughout the rest of the film, we see David literally fight for his life. He has to use his bare hands, a sword, or whatever means necessary to get out of each chase. Along the way, he loses his friend, his uncle (who really was someone else), but finds out the truth behind the strange dreams/visions and his own superhuman abilities.
Big shout outs on all the fight scenes and stunts. I quite like the fight scenes – it is also good to see a woman kick butt as much as the men are. I would venture to say this film is a vehicle to showcase their talents mostly. The plot works to an extent. Like other action films, I understood parts of the plot and was confused by others. This is common with some action flicks, though. It is best to “suspend disbelief,” I often say.
Technically speaking, the film is well produced. One pet peeve I must mention, however, is the sound mixing. The music that scores the film is too loud, and the dialogue is too low. Maybe it was just the version I watched; I hope so.
Regardless, I think the film will hold the audience’s attention. Fans of films with Tony Jaa or Iko Uwais will recognise similar moves in Kill Order. Chris Mark definitely shows real skills in this film. I also have to mention the stunt coordinators, James Mark and Brian Ho, who in my opinion, are showing us they can deliver the punches. I’m curious to see what James Mark has in store for us as writer, director, and stunt coordinator. Lastly, it is always nice to see Toronto on the big screen.
Kill Order premieres Friday, November 24th at 7pm at The Blood In The Snow Film Festival. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.