It’s always a shame when you can see what a movie so desperately hopes to be, but it falls incredibly far short. Killing Season wants be a tense cat and mouse thriller, with a serious backdrop looking at the horrors of war and the way it affects people after the battle is over. Unfortunately it ends up just being a bit silly and over the top.
It’s a particular shame as this is the first time Robert de Niro and John Travolta have appeared on-screen together.
Travolta is the Serbian Kovac, a veteran of the Bosnian War who travels to the US to find Benjamin Ford (de Niro), the man he blames for things that happened to him and his squad during the Eastern European conflict back in the 1990s. He’s determined to get the truth and to do so he initially befriends Ford. However when they go out hunting together the next morning, Kovac reveals his true plan. A cat and mouse chase ensues, with both men revealing secrets about what happened 18-years before.
It sounds like a decent premise for a film, but it too often mistakes winces with creating tension (there are a surprising amount of pretty gross moments), and while its attempts to ensure its ‘war is hell’ message gets across, it does it in such a dull and obvious way – ensuring you’re smacked over the head with it every five minutes – that it lacks any impact.
It doesn’t help either that Travolta appears to be doing his best comedy Eastern European accent and sports a beard that looks like stuck on iron filings, while de Niro mainly seems to be running around the woods looking for his paycheque.
There are a few effective scenes and the initial set up certainly holds out the possibility of a tense and interesting movie, but that quickly dissipates once the two aging stars start trying to kill and torture one another.
Overall Verdict: Two veteran stars and a decent premise are wasted by a lack of tension and a serious backdrop that it fails to make much out of.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac