‘Boy Kills World’ Doesn’t Land Its Big Swings | MOVIE REVIEW


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If you’re after over-the-top violence with a dose of wacky humour, this could make for a relatively entertaining watch.

Stylistically and narratively, Boy Kills World unfolds like a pulpy graphic novel/video game that I probably would have loved as a teenager. It’s stylistic, it’s flashy, it’s packed with attempts at knowingly silly humour, and plenty of stabs at pulp culture references, as well as satire aimed at politics and the media.

I have to hand to Boy Kills World for taking a number of large swings, it just doesn’t land as many hits as it should to hit that high damage score. While I did have a few giggles, I found that the jolts of highly simplistic comedy and obvious parody often played out awkwardly, failing to ramp up the entertainment factor the film needed to achieve. Also, the overall dystopian world fails to convince, the result of what feels like a mix of poorly developed ideas and budgetary constraints.

Yes, the film’s highly farcical plot isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but putting a little more focus on our hero’s tragic upbringing would have served the film’s emotional side – what little there is – to land with more impact.

All that being said, Boy Kills World works better when it’s serving up bloody combat. A few of the early action sequences are moderately entertaining, but it’s in the extended last quarter of mayhem that the film really finds its gnarly groove. The wince-inducing action here is a hoot – even if it takes a little too long to get there.

Importantly, the actual Boy killing the world is worth spending time with. Bill Skarsgård is good value here, the actor showcasing an emotive, wordless, highly physical performance. And yeah, he’s ripped.

And while having Archer and Bob’s Burgers voice actor H. Jon Benjamin as our lead character’s internal monologue doesn’t necessarily hurt the film, the screenplay doesn’t provide him with as much as wit and originality as I was hoping for – and oftentimes, I was left wondering whether this voiceover was even necessary.

Boy Kills World is a little under two hours of mindless, mild entertainment and cartoonishly entertaining violence. A tighter runtime and a more focused screenplay would have elevated the material much more.