Boy Kills World is a bloody, action-packed banger and a great example of Bill Skarsgård’s action talent.
ACTION: A deaf-mute warrior (Bill Skarsgård) who is led by a mysterious shaman (The attack‘s Yayan Ruhian) is trying to overthrow a repressive regime.
REVIEW: Earlier this year, Bill Skarsgård played a suave villain in Keanu Reeves’ John Wick: Chapter 4, but mainly stayed out of the action scenes. Would the film have been released after that? Boy kills worldI think the role would have been radically reimagined, with the actor undergoing a career-altering physical transformation. Watch as the hulking, 6-foot-tall actor makes his way through opponents Boy kills world, it’s hard to believe that just a few years ago this same guy was best known as Pennywise the Clown. As a matter of fact, Boy kills world is the perfect starting point for Bill Skarsgård to become a major action hero (it bodes well for his next film – the remake of The crow).
The film itself is a pretty wild dystopian action epic with a lot of dark comedy and outrageousness. While Skarsgård’s character is mute, he narrates the film through his inner monologue, where the actor influences a voice the character heard in an arcade game he enjoyed playing before he lost his hearing. The character is also shown to be a master lip reader, which is used in the comedy when he meets Isaiah Mustafa (It: Chapter 2) as a particularly taciturn ally.
The plot in this film begins early and assumes that the titular “boy” is an orphan after his family is killed by the henchmen of his city’s evil ruler, Hilda van der Koy (Famke Janssen). Every year the van der Koys stage a ritual “culling” in which they murder civilians on live television. The boy allows himself to be kidnapped so that he can make his way to Hilda, where he has to deal with Hilda’s son Gideon (Brett Gelman) and her two daughters Melanie (Michelle Dockery) and June 27 (Jessica Rothe). The latter is an LED helmet-wearing badass whose skills rival Boy’s (as does her physique, with Rothe wearing a cropped jumpsuit that shows off her ripped abs).
The film is action-packed and is a mix of hand-to-hand combat and gunplay, most of which seems to have been made by Skarsgård himself. Some of the blood has a touch of producer Sam Raimi evil Dead incorporated (maybe). One of the particularly heinous moments involves Boy using a kitchen grater in a bloody fight, and another highlight is a hand-to-hand fight in which his opponent repeatedly loses parts of his body.
Of course, the action is way over the top as this is by nature a hard R rated action film. The cast is unique in that neither Skarsgård nor Rothe are action veterans, making them feel like they’re newbies to starring in a film like this. Andrew Koji is also cast against type, in a largely combative role as a motorized resistance fighter who teams up with Boy, while Sharlto Copley also pops up to chew a few scenes. Everyone seems to relish the chance to add to the madness, especially Dockery in a role far removed from her iconic appeal Downton Abbey. She looks like she’s having a lot of fun. Yayan Ruhian from The attack Boy’s most prominent role in a North American film to date is as a mentor, taking part in the film’s best fight sequence – which seems to go without saying.
All in all, I had a blast with this insane action film that’s poised to become a cult hit after debuting at TIFF’s Midnight Madness. Director Moritz Mohr makes an impressive debut and the film contains so much world-building that it could easily spawn a franchise (Watch the short film that got him the job here). Hopefully a distributor will come forward and release the film in theaters as it is the type of film that audiences like the most. For my part, I had a lot of fun.
https://www.joblo.com/boy-kills-world-tiff-review/ Boy Kills World (TIFF) review