Features Live Action Movies


Director – Nikhil Nagesh Bhat – 2023 – India – Cert. 18 – 105m


Trying to prevent the love of his life from becoming trapped in an arranged marriage, a commando finds himself on a train fighting a violent gang of bandits – out in UK cinemas on Friday, July 5th

Commando Amrit (Lakshya aka Laksh Lalwani) returns from active duty for a clandestine meeting with his true love Tulika (Tanya Maniktala), who is being forcibly engaged to another man by her family. Her father owns the railway, and her family take her on board the sleeper train for New Delhi where her arranged marriage to her fiancé is to take place, unaware that also on board the train are a party of bandits who plan to rob all the passengers.

The bandits are equally unaware that also on board the train are Amrit and his friend and fellow commando Viresh (Abhishek Chauhan) who intend to remove Tulika and take her away from her family’s plans which threaten Amrit and Tulika’s love. Among the bandits, firebrand Fani (Raghav Juyal) has an unfortunate tendency to kill the wrong opponent or prisoner at the wrong time…

The boy / girl romance element is fairly syrupy and over the top, and features heavily in Amrit’s motivation, especially once Tulika and her beloved younger sister Aahna (Adrija Sinha) are taken prisoner. Once the narrative gets on the train and the thieves make their first moves, Amrit changes from a deadly and skilled commando into a man who will stop at nothing to rescue his love and her family members from the bad guys via numerous fights including punchings, kickings and stabbings, not to mention pummellings of heads against lavatory bowls. There is little space in train corridors or washrooms, and the lack of room to manoeuvre is cleverly exploited to the max. The rapid-fire stunt work is heavily augmented by prosthetics effects, meaning that blades are seen to rip through flesh and a great deal of (special effects) blood is spilled.

Part of me wants to be able to praise the film and tell you that both fight choreography and integrated prosthetics are peerless. However, if I’m altogether honest, one of the things I personally enjoy about movies that take place on trains is a sense of what’s where on the train and exactly where I am at any given moment. That’s true of films as varied as mystery thriller, The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938), science fiction parable Snowpiercer (Bong Joon Ho, 2013) and zombie outing Train to Busan (Yeon Sang-ho, 2016). Alas, the layout of the train in Kill is not that easy to follow. (Incidentally, one of Kill’s action directors is Oh Se-young from Snowpiercer, the other being India’s Parvez Shaikh.)

Once the hero’s romantic motivation is established, the film prefers to concentrate on its numerous relentless set-pieces of close-quarter, bloody violence. It’s true that some of the fighting cast carry a certain charisma among both the heroes and the villains, but the latter are so unrelentingly nasty that when they get upset at being killed off one-by one, you have no sympathy for them whatsoever. The action set pieces may be genuinely thrilling in and of themselves, but the whole thing could have been so much more engaging. In the end, I personally found the level of non-stop, bloody, and bone-crushing violence here too much. (I had the same issue with Monkey Man, Dev Patel, 2024.) I never thought I’d feel that about a movie.

Kill is out in cinemas in the UK on Friday, July 5th.


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