Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 14, 2017)
A black comedy with satire related to celebrity culture, 2017’s Killing Hasselhoff introduces us to Chris Kim (Ken Jeong), a nightclub owner who hits hard times. A struggling business means he can’t pay back a loan shark and pushes him toward desperate measures.
A member of a “Celebrity Death Pool”, Chris stands to benefit financially if his pick – David Hasselhoff – dies. To score the money he needs, Chris decides to take matters into his own hands and kill Hasselhoff himself.
Admittedly, I didn’t enter Killing with high expectations. I thought the concept offered some room for laughs, so I hoped it’d provide a breezy way to pass 80 minutes.
Unfortunately, Killing falls below of those low expectations – far, far below, in fact. The movie makes many desperate attempts to entertain but it fails to generate even the most basic of value.
On paper, Killing should come with some worth, mainly because it boasts a surprisingly good cast. In addition to Jeong, we find talents like Dan Bakkedahl, Rhys Darby, Will Sasso, and Jon Lovitz.
Killing also pours on the cameos. You’ll find a slew of notable names and faces here – most tend toward the semi-has-been category, I admit, but a few current stars show up as well.
All of this comes at the service of a movie that never aims higher than the cheapest of cheap jokes. Killing doesn’t attempt real cleverness, as it prefers the easy way out, with one tacky gag after another.
Killing lacks a real plot, as it uses its framework as nothing more than an excuse to churn out a slew of pointless comedy bits. We take long detours to go…. wherever the filmmakers want to go, logic or narrative coherence be damned.
The cast plays down to the awful material. Each and every one of them overacts relentlessly, as if they think loud and abrasive performances will somehow make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear.
They can’t, as Killing remains a relentlessly unpleasant experience. Witless, shrill and annoying, this turns into a thoroughly awful attempt at comedy.
Footnote: a tag with a cameo from a famous musician comes mid-credits, and a blooper reel follows it.