I shall be doing a Major analysis of Good Kill, revealing Private information and making a good many Rank jokes to see if it has a Colonel of truth or is a General disaster. So read on only if you’ve already seen Good Kill, or don’t plan to.
This story is set in 2010, during the greatest escalation of targeted killings [by drones].
It wasn’t ‘the greatest’ for the victims.
0:03:27 The bomb suspense is surprising because we know what’s about to happen, like licking a car battery or watching the Kardashians.
You look miles away.
Molly Egan (January Jones) to her husband, Tom
Get it? Because he’s a drone pilot.
Drones aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’re going everywhere.
But don’t think I believe my own shit either. Because we like to dress it up in fancy language: “prosecuting a target”, “surgical strike”, “neutralizing the threat”… Make no fucking mistake about it. We are killing people.
I’m going to drill this into your heads every god-damn day. This ain’t no Playstation, even though — and the brass don’t like to admit it — our operation was modelled on X-box. And half of you were recruited in malls precisely because you are a bunch of fucking gamers and war is now a first person shooter. But when you pull the trigger here… it’s for fucking real.
Speech to the troops by Lieutenant Colonel Jack Johns (Bruce Greenwood)
Dey all a bunch a players – and I ain’t playin’.
0:12:28 Johns tells Egan he had to get him a new co-pilot because the previous one, Carlos, “pissed hot”. This means he tested positive for cocaine. #UrineTrouble
This film needs to be on guard about getting too preachy with long monologues and background. Exposition is like Marmite: a little goes a long way, so don’t spread it on too thick.
0:13:18 Tom asks his boss to be reassigned to a real jet. Like a recently divorced sex maniac, he misses the cockpit.
0:13:52 His new co-pilot (Zoë Kravitz as Vera Suarez) is a Major Hottie in the Battle of the Sexes.
0:17:34 Some speeching about the futility of fighting a war in Afghanistan. They should be fighting the boredom instead.
0:20:16 Ugh, while surveilling a compound from the drone, they’re forced to witness a Taliban militia member rape a Muslim woman hanging the laundry. #DirtyLaundry
0:22:46 Back at home, Tom drinks from a bottle of vodka he keeps in the loo. No shite!
0:24:16 In a marital dispute, Tom and Molly make a vague reference to a difficult event in the past. For now they adopt the military line: don’t ask, don’t tell the audience.
0:25:51 Their offices look like a shipping container, or a take out box of Colonel Sanders.
0:27:48 Immediately after launching two Hellfire missiles at a weapons storage location, two playing children run in front of the building. They are sacrificed in the name of clichés.
0:29:48 More speeching, this time about how it was easier to separate home and war when the soldier fought on foreign soil. People who say this have never spent time with my parents on the weekend.
Take the day off. I think you could use a little I&I : Intoxication and Intercourse.
Johns tells Egan not to obsess over the children
I did not know my hobbies have an acronym.
0:31:32 Egan takes both halves of his boss’s piece of advice.
0:35:27 Entering the second part of the film, the Johns announces they are now assigned to work for “Langley” (the CIA), and will be annihilating Afghani suspects because it’s easier than arresting them.
Like American cops with black men. [Good thing I’m not political. Or a black man in the U.S.]
No one regrets the loss of innocent lives more than we do.
Langley on the phone (Peter Coyote? [Yes! I nailed it like a carpenter with wood]) telling our crew to destroy the house with the target and a woman inside
Proof that the CIA care more about the loss of innocent lives than you.
0:40:43 The CIA instructs them to bomb the hole they just made because maybe the Taliban is trying to dig out Taliban corpses. One young gung-ho American soldier (Zimmer, played by Jake Abel) gets into this idea, but Vera has the same expression as your wife when she finds porn on your laptop.
Suarez (matter of factly): Was that a war crime, sir?
Johns: Shut the fuck up, Suarez.
0:43:52 Suarez and the radical right stereotypes (Dylan Kenin as Capt. Ed Christie and Zimmer) get in a war of words over the merits of bombing the enemy. I’d prefer to discuss the merits of good film making as it pertains to more action.
0:48:48 You’d think that in a Las Vegas club where the foursome go to blow off steam that there’d be some steam blowing off, but instead it’s just a place to make a speech about how much better it is to fly a real jet in missions. Speaking of droning on…
0:49:02 WTF!? Vera flirts with her boss and superior because he just talked about his wife. She’d like to close ranks.
0:49:58 “Cards with the devil” by Von Bonneville is a wonderful song to drive drunk to (yet impossible to find on the net). Tom is as lit as the traffic light.
0:53:51 Langley instructs our team to bomb a crowd of men in Yemen, a country the States is not at war with. Yet. Sounds more like O-man! than Yea-man! to me.
0:56:04 Another speech, this one about how America is a terrorist factory because drone attacks are used by al-Qaeda as a recruitment tool. Just like Good Kill is used as a recruitment tool for sleeping.
He’s a bad guy, he’s just not our bad guy.
Zimmer referring to the militia member raping the same woman [see 20:16]
1:05:26 Tom is slowly losing his wife and his mind. I blame all the speeches.
1:06:46 Nice Ramones copy (“Hey Hey” by the Brakes) while Tom espies his wife in a car with another man. Seems she’s driving him to drink.
Hit me, you little bitch. Hit me!
Molly in a fight with her husband
He hits the mirror, so she ushers the kids away as though he were to blame. I think it was her favourite mirror.
1:17:34 He speeches his wife about how he blew up a Taliban leader’s house with his family in it, then he blew up their funeral. Hint: he’s not talking about photographs.
1:21:04 He drives drunk so often, he should get a frequent flier card.
1:22:44 This film could’ve been a short, especially if you take out the speeches. Like this one, where the lieutenant colonel says the ends justify the means. Why can’t they get to the ends faster?
1:23:16 WTF!? Jack Johns speeches about how he’s come to terms with the distasteful aspect of the recent missions because “they aren’t going to stop, so we can’t. ” To which Suarez responds:
It never ends… sir?
Then, instead of trying to go a little deeper than black or white declarations — even if it means declaring there is no solution — they simply cut the scene here and go back to bombing people. Infuriating, especially when considering this film has set itself up as a study of this issue. There are no easy answers but those are the only ones this film wants to give, even if they’re the wrong ones.
1:26:32 Because Suarez is feeling uncomfortable about bombing the civilians with the terrorists, Egan pretends to lose the signal with the drone. Perhaps the drone will crash and burn, like the rest of this film.
1:29:32 As punishment, he’s downgraded to ‘surveillance’ which sounds a sight well better than ‘blowing everyone up ‘.
1:30:19 His wife tells him she’s taking the kids and leaving him alone in the house. Tom reacts like this is bad news when it seems to me he’s dodging a bullet.
1:33:32 Suarez quit her job when Egan was demoted and for some rank WTF reason she was promoted to officer. She tells him they can now legally fraternize, all the more so because his wife has left. Honestly, though, what does she see in him? The only way she could get a rise out of him is with yeast.
1:34:28 In a supreme military breach of WTF protocol, Egan tricks everyone in the container into taking a break so he can bomb the serial rapist. It’s as if the World Police just locked their keys in the car.
1:37:17 Tom kills the bad guy and almost the rape victim along with him but she comes back to life at the last second and her young son runs out to hug her because conflict is just that simple.
1:37:38 Tom Egan hops in his car and drives towards Reno while a mysterious drone follows him from above. It’s supposed to make us think, but why should we start now?
- WTF!?’s: 5 striking ones
- When to Follow: When you want to feel political without using your brain…like a real politician.
- Where’s This Found: While it’s nice to see Ethan Hawke rise above such bombs as Getaway, I was thoroughly disappointed in director Andrew Niccol. His Lord of War was so good even Nicolas Cage couldn’t ruin it, yet here he seems to content himself with piloting a film that simply drones on and stays below the radar without scoring any hits. Out of a possible 10, I have 6 F’s to give
- What To Feedback:
Left Over WTF (Way Too Funny) Photos
Prints suitable for reposting!
WTF!? did they say?
WTF!? do you meme?
What to Follow Up
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