Shoot to Kill: My First [Written] Movie Review Ever

Sat 01/21/12 at 5:07 pm

I watched the film Shoot to Kill a few weeks ago. *SPOILER ALERT* For those of you who have not seen the movie, Sidney Portier, a career “city slicker” FBI agent teams up with a mountain man to track a serial killer who has escaped into the North American wilderness with a group of other guys on some sort of outing led by mountain man’s girlfriend (Kierstie Alley) after Serial Killer got away with millions in diamonds and, pretty much for the hell of it, killed his hostage, the jeweler’s wife. It was not, in Mr. FBI Guy’s opinion, his first kill. Serial Killer needs Girlfriend to guide him to a road that will get him to the Canadian/American border.

Much of the movie is a gripping thriller, even though some of the early scenes are just a tad far-fetched. For instance, each of the guys and Girlfriend has an enormous backpack. Besides a sleeping bag and maybe a change of clothes, what else could be in those packs?  I’d bet on food. Even so, there’s a scene where Girlfriend catches two fish while Serial Killer first lights, and then, given the smoke, kicks dirt on a fire. In response, girlfriend plops down and tears into one of the raw fish. Serial Killer refuses her offer of the other fish. He refuses. She shrugs. The implication is that Serial Killer will go hungry. Cracks in the foundation of suspended disbelief.

Long story short, Girlfriend and Serial Killer eventually break through the trees and there’s the highway. Girlfriend manages to flag down a truck, but alas, Serial Killer catches up and we watch all three of them drive off toward the border. Later, the truck is found with Dead Trucker, and, of course, no sign of Serial Killer or Girlfriend. Here’s where suspended disbelief begins to crumble. Once Serial Killer’s made it to the highway, he no longer needs Girlfriend. His pattern has always been to ruthlessly kill anyone he no longer needs.  Along with Dead Trucker, she should have been toast.

I kept thinking about the film after it ended. I kept thinking long enough to realize that the pursuit of Serial Killer was totally unnecessary and would never have happened in “real life.” Here’s what Mr. Twenty-Years’ Experience FBI Guy knew at the time he and Boyfriend took off to track the expedition. He knew Serial Killer was among five guys who were being led by Girlfriend to a lodge in the forest. He knew, or could readily find out, where this lodge was located. The group was not a hunting trip because no guns were evident, and one of Serial Killer’s companions expressed surprise when Serial Killer’s handgun accidentally fell out of his pack.

I leave for another day what realistic steps may have been taken to attempt rescue all of the members of the expedition. Without giving it all away, only Serial Killer and Girlfriend arrive at the lodge. They had spent at least one night in the open.  During that time, I’m assuming FBI Guy would have obtained photos of all the party members, and, while he might not know what Serial Killer looked like, he could be identified through the process of elimination.

So, you give the photos to your best sniper, he boards a helicopter that makes  a wide berth around the search area so as to avoid detection. Sniper will be dropped off somewhere near the lodge, he’ll locate a desirable vantage point and don his snow camouflage. Sniper waits until Serial Killer and Girlfriend appear. As they approach the lodge entrance, Sniper blows Serial Killer away. Occam’s Razor.


next post: A Naming
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