Her goldfish dead, her lover exposed as a rat, Shawn Holloway leaves her bank post and goes to the roof intent on suicide. Before she can leap, she's taken hostage by Charlie Anders, a fleeing bank robber. He and his partners have stolen a million in cash and plan to escape to Venezuela. Shawn agrees to cooperate if Charlie promises to kill her once he's in the clear. Parts of the plan go awry, so Charlie has time to try to pierce her bleak manner and self pity, and she has time for reflection. As night falls, their interlude ends: they're each alone, Charlie facing prison as the police close in, and Shawn staring down at a river from atop a high bridge.
Not the least of the handicaps weighing down Dana Lustig's sardonic thriller is the sour personality of its heroine, if heroine is the right word for such a disagreeably sullen character. The movie wants to be a kind of screwball caper movie, with Mr. Beesley's Charlie a cheeky rogue descendant of Cary Grant or Chevy Chase. But the screenplay (by Annette Goliti-Gutierrez) never begins to finds a workable balance between wit and adventure. And the performances in several smaller roles are so mechanical that they lend "Kill Me Later" the tone of a vanity production. - Stephen Holden
2001-09-14 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Kill Me Later