Review: “Kill Your Friends” Is Nothing We Haven’t Already Seen



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Posted March 21, 2016 by

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When reading about “Kill Your Friends”, you will no doubt see that other reviewers have likened it to ‘American Psycho’; mainly because the main character narrates us through everything that’s going on, lives an exaggerated lifestyle, and kills some people. Honestly, for me, that’s where the similarities end. Where ‘American Psycho’ had tension, ‘Kill Your Friends’ had drug abuse. Where ‘American Psycho’ created a scenario in which you were unsure of whether Patrick Bateman was actually killing these people or just imagining it, ‘Kill Your Friends’ shows Stelfox (Hoult) abusing drugs. For much of the film, it feels like a one-trick pony: show this good looking guy doing drugs, drinking alcohol, sleeping with women, and constantly coming out on top. There’s only so much of that you can actually take while not noticing any redeeming qualities about the character. If you don’t give the character substance, you’re just watching them glorify the party life and that gets old very quick.KillYourFriendsPhoto

Stelfox is a young A&R rep for a stalling record company and must continually find the next hot band. With their jobs constantly on the line, a tense work environment is created and everyone at the company must snort cocaine or take pills in order to calm down (Stelfox actually recites all of the terminology for cocaine in order to not lose his cool). When he’s passed up for a promotion in favor of a has-been drug addicted musician, Stelfox takes matters into his own hands and won’t stop until he gets what he wants.

Most of the tension in the film is supposed to come from the fact that Stelfox kills the guy that got the promotion over him, Waters (Corden), but at no point while watching did I think he was in any danger of ever getting caught; whether that was because of my lack of emotional investment or a problem with the movie I can’t say for sure. The problem with that is the murder is committed so sloppily and yet when people start finding out Stelfox was the one that did it, he’s able to charm them, bribe them, and ultimately get them off his back so easily that you’re left wondering what the point was in the end. I will say that I liked that they didn’t make the whole film about him killing people — that would have gotten just as tiresome as the drugs — but it feels that each plot point wasn’t fully fleshed out and you’re left with bits and pieces of entertainment and a whole bunch of filler.

The one shining moment of this movie for me was the soundtrack. Heavy use of songs from the 90’s ranging from Blur’s “Beetlebum” to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” gave me something to enjoy and reminded me of songs that I had forgotten about. While I couldn’t care less about the story, the characters, the settings, and the overall message, I enjoyed the hell out of the music. Much like everything else in the film, however, the music is nothing original to the movie and just another thing that we’ve seen or heard before.

Ultra-fans of Nicholas Hoult will find a way to like “Kill Your Friends”, but to me it just seemed like a waste of so many good actors. If you’re going to give an audience something they have seen time-and-time again, add something new to it; surprise them. Unfortunately “Kill Your Friends” doesn’t.





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