An Arguing With Myself Review: Killing Gunther

October 21, 2017 Author: Chris Frodel

A group of hitmen, led by Blake (Taran Killam), are fed up with Gunther, the world’s greatest hitman. They take it upon themselves to eliminate the competition by attempting the impossible: Killing Gunther. Through a series of encounters, the top assassin seems to always be one step ahead of them. He’s elusive. He’s a ghost. Mainly due to the fact, no one knows what he(or she) looks like. However, we the viewers know very well who he is…

Let me preface this by stating; I think Taran Killam, who wrote, directed AND starred in Killing Gunther, is a talented entertainer. His work on SNL stood out amongst his fellow cast members. His impressions, alone, were worth tuning in on a Saturday night…or watching clips the following day (you know, like grown ups!). Maybe I built up this film to be more than it was? I mean, along with Taran, you have Arnold Schwarzenegger as Gunther, SNL-alum Bobby Moynihan, New Girl’s Hannah Simone and an appearance by How I Met Your Mother’s Colbie Smulders (who’s also Taran’s wife). This was going to be, at least on paper, a fun film. Sadly, it falls short. With a runtime of an hour and thirty-two minutes, Killing Gunther is an hour and twenty-seven minutes too long. I think it’d be better suited as a Digital Short on SNL than as a feature film. As prominent as Arnold is in the marketing, he’s barely in the film. I do have to say though, when he is on screen, I enjoyed every minute.

It’s not a complete loss. There are a few gags that made me laugh. Sometimes the mockumentary style is akin to found footage. Both can be hokey if not in the right hands. I feel it’s worth noting, this is Taran’s first outing since leaving SNL. It was a labor of love for him. Perhaps he took on too much, right out of the gate? Wore too many hats. There was potential in what I saw. I’ll be interested with what he does next. Let this be his learning curve.

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