Let’s talk about a kind of film I affectionately call the “slaughter fest.” Simply put, it’s a carnage-filled action movie with its brains knocked out. And, oh, how Silencer is just that—a big, dumb slaughter fest.
Don’t get me wrong, I, too, enjoy seeing a deserving movie villain absorb many chunks of flying metal. But there’s got to be something else there, too.
Here, you get shootouts, mayhem and characters so lacking in nuance that they may as well be animated wax dummies. If all I wanted to see was explosions, car crashes and bodies flying I’d bring a folding chair and sit by the 101 freeway at rush hour.
Silencer is driven by gunplay, beatings and far too many bullets to the head. In place of even the most basic character development, it uses calculated heartstring pullers to gain our sympathy, then delivers utterly predictable violence and a pile of corpses. Although, like most half-witted violence-porn flicks, it never deals with murder and death in a realistic manner. That would inject something approaching real human emotion into the picture, and that’s, like, not cool, dude. Just keep the automatic weapon fire blazing and mow down as many generic desperados as possible. Just like a live-action video game.
“He’s unable to pull the trigger…and that’s when things get more desperate for the rusty freelance sniper…”
The curious part of many slaughter-fest movies — and Silencer in particular — is that they contrast utter disregard for human life with a sentimentalized, sanitized view of family life. In this world, the characters are for the most part either pure as the driven snow or scum-sucking pigs. They seem to say, sure, these men are vicious, bloodthirsty killers, but awwww, at home, they’re so nice to their wives and young daughters.