Since the release of Reservoir Dogs, hardly a week goes by that doesn't find the release of another direct-to-video action movie that baldly and badly borrows from Quentin Tarantino's already-derivative mixture of flashy violence and morbid humor. And while Tarantino himself, with Jackie Brown, has progressed beyond the clever, slightly empty nihilism that defined his first two films, the film world still seems convinced that there is cinematic gold to be struck by shamelessly ripping off Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Killing Time is different, however, if only because it is the first British Tarantino knockoff to receive a decent video release in America. And if nothing else, it proves conclusively that the British film industry is capable of producing Tarantino knockoffs that are just as soullessly proficient as those of their American counterparts. Killing Time tells the story of a noble if misguided cop (Craig Fairbrass) who hires an expensive Italian hitwoman (Kendra Torgam) to kill a powerful and decadent gang leader. Since he is living on an honest cop's salary, he can't afford to pay her, so in a convoluted bit of anti-logic, he hires a group of presumably much cheaper hitmen (who, one would imagine, accept coupons and give out senior-citizen discounts) to kill her so he won't have to bankrupt himself to pay her fee. Things go predictably awry, and an endless parade of stylish bloodshed follows. At least the shallow nihilism here is handled with a degree of stylishness and competence, thereby setting it apart from such clumsy, incompetent genre exercises as Kiefer Sutherland's execrable Truth Or Consequences, N.M. That said, Killing Time is still an infantile, pointless endeavor in bloodshed for bloodshed's sake. And while Torgam's crafty hitwoman would seem to give the film some sort of feminist subtext, here she functions mainly as an action filmmaker's wet dream: a gorgeous, virtually mute woman who is also an unstoppable killing machine.
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