Sometimes, life shows favors to no one. Learning to survive through tragedy, heartbreak, and pain is a lesson we all may have to experience at some point. In Derrick Fury’s Lion Killer, these concepts are at the centerfold, merged with coming to terms with your past and learning to love again. But for struggling Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, Michael, that proves more difficult than anticipated.
“…he learns to take back control through teaching Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense courses.”
The feature immediately introduces Michael (Matthew Meehan) as someone who has had his fair share of misfortunes. Growing up with a drunk mother and a heroin addict for a father can do that. But even as an adult, Michael has lost close friends to death, potential business clients to a competing gym, and his good spirit to the devastation brought on by poverty. So, how can overcoming his problems be easy when life welcomes such tribulations? For Michael, it isn’t at all. But for the most part, he learns to take back control through teaching Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense courses. And when faced with the promise of love again, Michael must learn to free himself of the burdens standing in his way.
Throughout Fury’s feature, Lion Killer promises to showcase a story about fighting against the troubles and taking the necessary steps towards regaining happiness. Even the film’s tagline demonstrates this: “not everyone fights with their fists.” How do you fight for the happiness you deserve when life shreds all hope asunder? How do we pick ourselves up after a fall? How can we move on after tragedy overtakes tranquility, replacing it with doubt and despair? These are all questions the film grazes. Unfortunately, it never cuts deep enough to leave a lasting impression.
"…How do you fight for happiness you deserve when life shreds all hope asunder?"