Kill Kane (2016): No Budget Thriller With Vinnie Jones (Review)

Vinnie Jones in Kill Kane

Not having a discernible budget means little in the overall scheme of things.  “Kill Kane,” starring Vinnie Jones could have been an edge of the seat thriller.  Shane Meadows, for example, made the brilliant Dead Man’s Shoes (with Paddy Considine and Toby Kebbel) for a pittance and the film was unforgettable.

Director Adam Stephen Kelly, helming his first feature length film did not strike cinematic gold for a myriad of reasons. Kelly co-wrote the movie with Christian Sellers and Andrew Jones and this may well be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

“Kill Kane” is a revenge film. Told haltingly via flashbacks and slow plodding scenes between all the characters. Vinnie Jones is P.E. teacher Ray Brookes. Ray is married with a wife and two kids. While out driving with his missus, the couple stop to consult a map. Brookes investigates some criminal activities in the industrial estate and witnesses a murder. 

His family are executed and only he survives after being induced into a three month coma. Ray wants revenge and he sets about getting it.

Jones as actor literally does best when he has little dialogue. (With the right lines and direction Vinnie can act his little cotton socks off, check out ABCs Galavant.) In this instance the former bad boy footballer manages to show a range of emotion. Although he could not cry, he came close and convinced me of his grief but not one tear was shed.

Sean Cronin was very effective as the cold and brutal gangster who carries out the hit on Ray and his family. Unfortunately the film has a lot wrong with it.

“Kill Kane” moves at a “molasses in winter” pace. At an hour and 14 minutes the film should have flown by. Unfortunately the pacing was so slow the film felt twice as long. The soundtrack was too loud, it felt as though the filmmaker wanted the sound to be very ’70s; harsh and clashing and intrusive.

Speaking of sound, the actors clearly looped or provided their online dialogue via ADR.  Lips did not match and the protagonists all sounded lethargic and bored.  The gangsters, and the DCI actually, all delivered their lines in a near monotone.  At one point, as the film was shot entirely in Wales, I wondered if they were speaking Welsh and the English was dubbed in. There was no proof either way except for those lips not syncing with the dialogue.

Another odd thing was the DCI having a shotgun handy in the boot (trunk) of his car. Britain has an armed response team and regular cops, even inspectors, do not carry guns. Shotguns are strictly regimented and must be locked in cases. It may have looked very good but is miles from reality.

“Kill Kane” was made with the idea that Vinnie Jones could carry a film.  This independent production must have felt it was a good idea and even though Jones is not a strong performer he could have made it work with better writing.

This English take on Michael Winner‘s Charles Bronson Death Wish” franchise may get better with a sequel or two but for now the film lacks so much.

For a myriad of reasons this film rates a 2.5 stars.  So many things conspired to drag this tale down, poor sound work, that included a too loud soundtrack, plus a snail-like pace just destroyed any chance this had of entertaining. On Hulu at the moment, watch this one  only if there is nothing else  to do. Sorry Vinnie, better luck next time.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

5 thoughts on “Kill Kane (2016): No Budget Thriller With Vinnie Jones (Review)”

  1. the script was ignored when the producer decided t edit the movie completely out of order to the script (when you can read for yourself online) and there are important scenes in it that are missing from the finished film completely (cut or unshot, unlikely cut with the running time) – not bad for a £25k film (when you remove Vinnie’s paycheque)


      1. No problem, one scene missing is father talking to son walking along the footballfield at school (so you get to see he’s a teacher raterthan just hear it) it was a nice bit of dialogue.

        Vinnie got £50k for the film after originally being offered £20k for 3-days work as the bad guy bhind the bad guy that we see in just 3 scenes.


      2. I had a tweet from the director who explained quite a lot. Such a shame, the film had promise. After watching his 2014 short (and becoming an instant fan) I cannot wait for his next project. Rather interesting that Vinnie was “promoted” as it were, he would have been better suited to the 3 scene role, in my honest opinion…


    1. According to several cast and crew members the reason the film was edited differently to the script is because the director was far too inexperienced and failed to shoot enough coverage of several key scenes. Seeing that half the footage he shot didn’t work the producers had to come up with a new structure to salvage the film. Some scenes were only cut because the director failed to shoot enough coverage to make them work in the editing. While the director likes to be very vocal about the project it seems the producers of the film prefer to maintain a dignified silence. It’s very easy for a director to rewrite history when no one can be bothered to challenge it.


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