Back in the late 80s and early 90s, the Montana-born director John Dahl made a name for himself with a series of nifty, darkly comic neo-noirs with hardboiled titles such as Kill Me Again, Red Rock West, and The Last Seduction. The past decade has been less kind to Dahl, who has foundered with a series of bigger-budget studio assignments and only sporadically (as in 2001s Joy Ride) shown signs of his old B-movie mojo. Called You Kill Me, Dahls latest has the outward appearance of a return to form but may be the worst thing hes ever done. It's an inert, tone-deaf mélange of The Sopranos and Six Feet Under about an alcoholic assassin (Ben Kingsley) in the New York Polish mafia who becomes a better man (and a better hit man) by joining AA and going to work in a San Francisco mortuary. The script supposedly kicked around Hollywood for years before attracting Sir Bens interest, and its age shows in the torrent of rimshot-worthy gay and Polack jokes, the gay-but-not-gay-seeming AA sponsor (Luke Wilson), and the submissive love interest (Téa Leoni, a far cry from Dahls usual steely dames) who doesnt mind that Kingsley is a killer as long as hes not, you know, gay.
John DahlBen Kingsley, Tea Leoni, Luke Wilson, Dennis Farina, Philip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman, Marcus Thomas, Scott Heindl, Lorraine James, Devin McCrackenStephen McFeely, Christopher MarkusJonathan DanaIFC Films