A bent copper takes out the trash social networking-style in this weak comedy-horror from Stuart Urban.
Young police constable Baz (Kevin Bishop) begins wiping out London’s undesirables after he’s finally pushed over the edge one evening. This mostly leads to the murdering of those that tabloid newspapers consistently categorise as chavs, scum, scroungers and wastrels.
Baz is less likely to 'hug a hoodie' – to adopt the line by PM David Cameron – than strangle them in the belief he’s really some kindly angel putting feckless lowlifes out of their misery. Utilising social networking sites, the killer plod becomes an internet sensation who is egged on by a rubbernecking public.
Emotive ideas and language often found in the right wing media are used for blunt satirical purposes in Stuart Urban’s May I Kill U? Coming across as the Daily Mail’s answer to a superhero, Baz, over the course of the narrative, bags a rioter, a wife-beater, a shoplifter, a mentally ill woman and a pair of human traffickers.
But Baz has a touch of Joe Stalin about him, too, and his logic chimes with that of the old tyrant’s: if there’s no criminal then there’s no problem. He rejects wholeheartedly the term ‘serial killer’ and prefers instead ‘death facilitator’.
At times, it feels like a relative of superlative Belgian serial killer comedy, Man Bites Dog, though a rather toothless distant cousin. Urban’s film trades in absurdist humour and knowing clichés but never ventures into the darker territory the material is calling out for. May I Kill U? looks very much like it was made for Channel 4 as post-pub fodder. The cheap-looking visual sheen and use of crummy animated pop-ups – for the social networking communication sequences – hamper any moves towards the cinematic.
Baz’s endearing relationship with a foreign girl (Kasia Koleczek) found in the back of a trafficker’s van, is well played, and there is a smattering of decent zingers. The film’s major problem is not down to the humour factor at all – or performances – but an uninspired directorial approach. May I Kill U? unwisely keeps things tongue-in-cheek instead of daring to chomp down hard with satirical gnashers.
Played in the Discovery Screen slot at last year’s FrightFest.
This tale of a social-media savvy cop feels (blue) toothless.
A spoof of right-wing reactionary politics that feels better suited to television than cinema.