On a purely technical level, the filmmaking is competent. Apart from some genuinely atrocious CGI gunshots peppered throughout, the action sequences are choreographed and executed passably. The look of the film has that crisp digital sheen you would see in a well-produced sketch from a Key & Peele type show. An association which is honestly not helped by the fact that Morrone looks very much like a bearded Keegan-Michael Key or that his delivery often channels Pacino at his most over the top. But honestly, that is one of Final Kill’s strongest qualities and sets it apart, at least a little, from all the films and genre tropes it’s aping.
“…characters are excessively familiar archetypes, and the plot uses every cliche in the book.”
Morrone’s characterization of Mickey Rome is not the typical strong, silent type. He is irritable, crotchety, and always exasperated by the fact that everyone around him is so nonchalant about their dubious circumstances. In many ways, Mickey fits the typical noir model of the existentially exhausted gumshoe. But rather than bare it all through gritted teeth, as is the standard, he has gesticulating tantrums and is expert at expressing incredulousness with a single look that communicates exactly what we are thinking: are these the dumbest people on earth? In this case, they usually are. In one scene, after finding out the particulars of his charges’ arrangement with the government that allows them to keep the stolen money, Mickey storms off in a huff and, in the next scene, is visible in the background miming his frustration in borderline slapstick fashion.
Visual gags like these compounded with Mickey’s generally exaggerated frustration imbue a degree of self-awareness and irony to a film that otherwise takes itself very seriously. While they attempt to give Mickey some legitimate pathos, whether he is on a quest to right wrongs or seeks to punish the unjust, or simply is a mercenary is mostly irrelevant and is a microcosm of Final Kill. Mickey’s self-description of his life trajectory, “I went from being a cop to collecting money, to beating the s**t out of people, to protecting people who couldn’t protect themselves,” pretty much says it all.
Final Kill is currently available on-demand and the DVD release is scheduled for April 14, 2020.
"…imbues a degree of self-awareness and irony to a film that otherwise takes itself very seriously."