India Gets Its Own The Raid In This Ultra-Violent Action Movie [Fantastic Fest 2023]

Action choreography floats like a butterfly, and a stinging onslaught of creative gore assures that no beatdown feels recycled. Death after death delivers new glimpses of bodily evisceration, from knives jammed down throats to the most upsetting broken neck I’ve ever seen on camera. Laksh Lalwani is an action powerhouse the way he becomes a Terminator powered by affection, epitomizing the hunky action star we love to cheer on. So much of “Kill” is better experienced fresh because it’s a dazzling display of brawler mayhem and top-notch injury effects, weaponizing blades, fire extinguishers, folding tables — anything within grabbing distance that Amrit can drive into someone’s skull.

Beat Em Up films can be more than just a flurry of thrown fists or broken limbs; “Kill” understands that. An immaculate score lays the reloading click of an automatic rifle and the howling war cry of primitive warriors into an enthusiastic background track that pumps feral energy into every scene. Raghav Juyal is playing an ’80s-approved villain who hams up lines about being as evil as possible, while also mocking Spider-Man. Then there’s the “Train to Busan” geographic mapping of altercations that toss battered bodies amongst civilians cowering in their respective booths, adding claustrophobic excitement to durable fight sequences that implement combo after combo of violently engaging displays. Bhat’s always one-upping himself on screen, and only the audience wins.

“Kill” is a near-perfect action thriller that’s stuck in overdrive. Bhat so effectively draws the maximum out of every scene. This isn’t another one-note display of cyclical action pacing that pushes through kick-dodge-repeat motions. “Kill” is a complete package in how Bhat can generate empathy for heroes and villains who blur each definition while executing executions that will keep audiences howling with enthusiastic approval. Bhat takes the cultural phenomenon of Indian train robberies and churns out an exhilarating crowdpleaser with inspired action-trope nods from the 1980s to 2010s, never ceasing to raise the stakes until the final blow. It’s adrenaline-fueled combat for the ages — a special brand of action showstopper that will leave you begging for more.

/Film Review: 9 out of 10

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