Killer's Kiss

Killer's Kiss ★★½

Killer's Kiss is a horribly bland effort from the great Stanley Kubrick which would have been a substantially larger flop if not for Kubrick's absolutely masterful directing. Stretched into a 67 minute film that feels substantially longer, the story is tepid at best and contains flashbacks within flashbacks that only serve to make it contrived and confusing. It doesn't help that the cast delivers bland performances all around. A sparse narrative, a completely unthreatening villain, no real sense of consequence or danger, and a love interest with the personality of a wet carrot all contribute to an incredibly boring film.

However, it's saving grace its magnificent visual style. The typical elements of noir film are all here, and the atmosphere is superb. Gorgeously contrasting lights and darks coupled with always powerful and often striking cinematography, Killer's Kiss a feast for the eyes. From the up close and personal boxing match to a beautiful ballet sequence overlayed with a voice over that would be a highlight if not for the lukewarm deliverance, Kubrick bridges a myriad of styles, transitioning from visceral action to elegant beauty. Even the hilariously awkward final battle is incredible to watch because of its unique setting and Kubrick's meticulous eye for visual detail.

Unfortunately, none of this is quite enough to make Killer's Kiss an interesting film, but it should absolutely be viewed by any aspiring cinematographer of film enthusiast. You may get bored, but you will never lack eye candy.

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