With a Friend Like Steven Stelfox...
Ambition is a wondrous thing.
But without talent it can sting.
Watching others achieve your goal
is hard to bear and takes its toll.
Be careful morals donít drop away
while evil thoughts come in to stay!
Kill Your Friends takes on this theme
and comes across like a bad dream.
Frenzied filming is used too much,
with Britpop music as its crutch.
Nobody's here to cheer about.
So all we want is to get out.
Directed by Owen Harris (The Gamechangers) from a screenplay by John Niven, who also wrote the novel of the same name, Kill Your Friends takes a look at the British pop craze back in the 1990s. And itís not a pretty sight. Most decisions are being made by people who know very little about music, including Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult/Warm Bodies), a man obsessed with finding the next big hit and becoming head of the A&R department where he works. Stelfox is a piece of work. Heís greedy, manipulative, obnoxious -- and thatís before breakfast.
Stelfoxís psychopathic tendencies come to the forefront as the dark film progresses. Heís not about to let anyone or anything stand in his way. Betrayal and murder may not be out of the question. Unfortunately, because this main character lacks even one saving grace, we have trouble caring a smidgen about the guy, which makes watching the movie quite a challenge. I realize that film villains can be entertaining (Patrick Bateman and Hannibal Lecter, Iím talking about you), but this creepy dude fails to hold our interest -- let alone fascination -- most of the time. Still, if thatís what he was like in the book (which I havenít read), Hoult has delivered an excellent performance. Itís simply not a watchable one for me. And the rest of the cast members seem lost in the nightmarish clubbing life and debauchery depicted on screen.
On a positive note, I think many fans of Britpop might enjoy the filmís soundtrack featuring Blur, Oasis, Radiohead and more.
Iíve never believed that pop music is escapist trash. Thereís always a darkness in it, even amidst great pop music. Ė Thom Yorke
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. Ė Bob Marley
(Released by Altitude Film Entertainment; not rated by MPAA.)
For more information about this Kill Your Friends, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.