Small Town Killers is a jet-black comedy, which pushes the boundaries of taste and fails the political correctness test. But if you’re in the right frame of mind, it’s fun.
Ib (Nicolas Bro) and Edward (Ulrich Thomsen) think about sex all the time. But their wives – Gritt (Mia Lyhne) and Ingrid (Lene Maria Christensen) – are far more interested in the salsa classes they take with their gay instructor. On one occasion, the women make fun of the lads when they are all out together. This proves the final straw. They make plans to divorce their wives and end the humiliation. Things go awry when they get drunk instead and that’s where the real damage is done. You see one of the blokes, who is off his scone at the time, hires a Russian hit man over the internet to take care of their problem.
When he comes to his senses, it is too late – the Rusky (Marcin Dorociński) (who has a major appetite for booze and a kill list that would make John Wayne blush) is on his way. Panicked, Ib and Edward are beside themselves, but they needn’t worry because their partners are up for the challenge.
The discussions about sex and a lack thereof are fulsome, to say the least. The lengths to which the blokes go to teach their wives a lesson are clearly off the charts. Exaggeration and preposterousness are the film’s stock-in-trade. Some scenes work better than others, but then that goes with the territory.
The intellectually impaired get a working over, which will have some howling. I can’t imagine an American movie that would go quite as far as the Danes have here, but then that is the beauty of European cinema … or otherwise depending upon your perspective.
Writer and director Ole Bornedal (Deliver Us From Evil) clearly set out to shock and amuse at the same time. He has succeeded in doing so, even if his efforts are heavy handed at times. A film for selective tastes, Small Town Killers scores a 6 out of 10.
Director: Ole Bornedal
Cast: Nicolas Bro, Ulrich Thomsen, Søren Malling
Release Date: 31 August 2017
Rating: MA 15+
Other reviews you might enjoy:
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television