15 – 97mins – 2014
THREE IS A TRAGIC NUMBER
Made two years ago but only now being released straight-to-DVD, this is a tricksy thriller with a blackly comedic streak. Simon Pegg (Star Trek into Darkness) leads an ensemble cast of lesser-known actors, playing the smarmy, moustachioed and wholly-unlikable hired gun Charlie Wolfe. He also acts as an omniscient narrator, recalling this tale of a bungled assignation as he lays bleeding to death.
The gimmick here, from which the title is derived, is that this is one murder attempt retold three times. Additional information, clues and buffoonery are leaked out with each retelling as more inept clowns are added into the mix, trying their luck for their own nefarious reasons at knocking off poor Alice Braga.
It all ends in a bloody mess on this tropical surfing paradise, bringing to mind the wry tone of Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (2012), with incompetent individuals treating life and death far too blithely. Profuse on blood and bad language, this murder farce from rising directorial hotshot Kriv Red Dog Stenders has a cocky assuredness to its style, it’s just a pity it’s neither as clever or complex as the narrative concept wants you to believe.