Review – Boy Kills World

Your mother and little sister are killed before your eyes during the culling, a day dedicated to removing enemies to the totalitarian state run by one Hilda Van Der Hoy (Famke Janssen); what else is there to do than train to be a one-man weapon and exact your murderous revenge on those that wronged you. 

That is pretty much the entire concept of Boy Kills World. Boy (an insanely ripped Bill Skarsgard) who is saved from death by the mysterious Shaman (Yayan Ruhian). Boy, having been tortured, is deaf, mute and unable to remember what his voice sounded like, so he picked one from his favourite arcade video game. Lucky for us, it just so happens to be the unmistakable H Jon Benjamin who provides Boy’s inner monologue for the entire movie. 

Still a child when his ordeal takes place, Boy is transformed in the dense jungle outside of the city through a series of montages and hallucinogenic moments under the watchful eyes of the Shaman. All while his inner voice narrates everything that is happening. After years of training in hiding a grown boy witnesses a collection for the annual culling go wrong in the streets and his plan or lack thereof, for revenge goes into action. Cue fast-paced action moments, add in bucket loads of blood and gore, sprinkle in some truly evil people, and just enjoy the ride. 

Boy Kills World is a simple bare-bones revenge story that takes a lot of its styling from anime, with a big influence coming from the dystopian movie influx we had some years ago. It is an insane mess of a story that somehow works. Bill Skarsgard is brilliant as he pantomimes his way from one fight scene to the next, ever upping the carnage meter as the movie finds itself and stretches out for the second half. If you’re a fan of offbeat comedy, think Deadpool or (I couldn’t help with the similarities) Archer, there is plenty to laugh about. Benjamin’s deadpan delivery holds scenes together and helps elevate them further than I believe even the talented Skarsgard would have been able to with the material. Boy communicates by reading lips while his inner monologue does the generates the responses. This is especially well done in those moments where his lip reading is anything but perfect adding to the comedic element of this film.

Behind all the nonsensical violent action, Boy Kills World has a little bit of heart. Along for the revenge train is Boy’s little sister Mina (Quinn Copeland), Mina may be a figment of Boys eternal mental strife, but she is the tether he needs to keep himself somewhat focussed on his mission. The way in which the two bounce off each other brought some of the best comedic moments and, with her being central during flashbacks, showed us who Boy was really fighting for. 

The first act of Boy Kills World is definitely its weakest. While you’re busy trying to understand the ins and outs of an overly complex setup that offers no world or character building outside of Boy is taking place. We are not privy to how the Van Der Hoy’s came to power or why this dystopian city is so invested in their rule or the ways in which they keep their power. By the time the second act kicked into gear, I found myself just along for the ride. 

Boy Kills World is a rip-tearing ride that makes little sense, loses the plot a little, and keeps you entertained for its entirety. It does exactly what I needed it to do, and that was just to be a fun time at the movies.  The Van Der Koy family is rightfully evil yet so very human, which is probably their scariest quality. Producer Sam Rami’s influence is felt throughout, and as a fan of his work it really made me appreciate the attention to the dark and comedic tone that much more. 

If you’re looking for an intellectual story with compelling character development and a well-delivered story, this isn’t one for you. For all its shortcomings, Boy Kills World does what more movies need to do: it’s just an enjoyable time out at the cinema with friends. Don’t watch it alone; more joy comes from watching it with others.  

Boy Kills World is coming to Australian cinemas from May 2nd. 

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Your mother and little sister are killed before your eyes during the culling, a day dedicated to removing enemies to the totalitarian state run by one Hilda Van Der Hoy (Famke Janssen); what else is there to do than train to be a one-man...Review - Boy Kills World