The opening shot of the movie may be its best. The remainder of the movie is very mediocre. Hayden Christensen stars as a father on a mission to rescue his kidnapped young son with Bruce Willis playing the police chief Howell, that’s both butting heads and assisting Christensen’s character, Will. At the center of the story is this ransom exchange that Will must make with a bank thief in order to get his son back.
The best thing going for the film is that Christensen has matured as a person and actor and he’s a lot more suited for a role like this. He’s the young dad action hero. As far as Willis goes, when was it that he became Nicolas Cage? He’s in every direct to VOD/Redbox/DVD movie these days. Once a mega star draw, now just another guy on screen. Regardless, Willis is passable.
When it comes to the plot and theme, there is very little that stands out with this movie. The plot is basic and has been done dozens of times. The twists are predictable, the action is decent. It’s the epitome of “ok” movies.
Usually films of this genre don’t have any sort of of message they want to hit home, however, in this one there is a message about bullying and standing up for yourself. The kidnapped boy who is played by Ty Shelton is bullied and his father wants him to learn how to fight back. The way the story plays out and this message is reinforced isn’t carried out in a sensible way. The kid is subjected to hunting, guns and killing. Preaching violence to combat violence is never a way to go, especially when it comes to teaching a kid how to defend himself. Looks like Christensen’s character could have used some advice from Yoda prior to taking the kid out to the woods to shoot a rifle at deer.
I attempted to invest into the plot and they had me engaged just enough to try to take this movie seriously, until the last few final scenes. All the credibility the plot had established with the characters and the subject matter was dissolved in a few seconds. Without giving away the ending, it’s campy and forced without serving much storyline purpose.
First Kill is a typical run-of-the-mill action thriller. Predictable twists, outcome and basic story. Is it watchable? Yes. Is it entertaining? Barely. This isn’t a bad movie, but it’s not good either. There are worse things out there to watch, so if you’re in a mood for a mediocre crime thriller that will kill (no pun intended) some time, then give this a shot (okay, I’ll stop the puns).