Directed By Neil Jones
Age of Kill opens up with an intriguing premise: a teenage girl with a sniper rifle. Unfortunately, this is not the premise of the movie. Instead, the theme is a formulaic but efficient re-working of a 24 plotline: Jack Bauer is forced to work for the bad guys because they have somebody he has sworn to protect at all costs. This invariably exposes the paradox which underlines the whole premise: Jack Bauer is willing to kill the few in order to protect the many; except when the few are personally important to him (in which instance he is willing to kill very many). Audiences for whom this is not an issue (there are nine seasons of 24), will likely enjoy Age of Kill.
Set in London, Age of Kill replaces Jack Bauer with Sam Blake, played with spare efficiency by Martin Kemp. We don’t know much about Sam Blake, other than that he has a daughter (Dani Dyer) who has a propensity for getting kidnapped, and is very good at killing people. Does this sound familiar? To boot, a mysterious psychopath (with a penchant for philosophy) employs Blake’s deadly skills to perpetrate a series of assassinations, which may or may not be linked to a right-wing political faction which sits somewhere between UKIP and the ICF.
Watching Age of Kill it’s difficult to avoid making comparisons with its US TV cousin. Whereas Martin Kemp looks and sounds the part, audiences may wish he was give more of.. said part. Kemp’s Blake, as well as the other characters and the story itself come across a tad underwritten (there is however, an intriguing sub plot involving Hooligan Firms either threatening the fabric of society; or saving society from impending doom- one of the two).
As may be gathered from the above, Age of Kill does not, despite its occasional forays into political territory, take itself too seriously (unlike Sean Penn’s The Gunman, which took itself very seriously). Instead, we are given an enjoyable modern day spy thriller with an intriguing cast of East End faces: including Nick Moran as the gov’nor of the firm, and Dexter Fletcher as an elite sniper (we did say intriguing). Kudos must also be given for what is perhaps one of the genre’s best titles.