This is a meaningful action-comedy of a wheelchair-bound assassin gang. Driven by despair and fear of becoming useless, a 20 year-old boy, his friend, and an ex-fireman offer their services to the mafia. But things are not what they seem. The boundaries between reality and fiction blur and the story becomes a whirling kaleidoscope showing us gangsters and gunfights, but also the challenge of life in a wheelchair and the pain caused by a father's rejection.
May be tough and dark on the outside, but has warmth and heart on the inside
'Kills on Wheels' has a title that is indeed simplistic, and doesn't really do justice to a film that one would think looking at the title that it was a generic gangster/hit-man film but is actually much more than that and is most notable for how its treatment and depictions of disabilities.
The film may be a touch contrived in places, but that aside it turned out to be one of my favourites of the year (it's counted as a 2016 film but was released in this country a few weeks ago). 'Kills on Wheels' balances comedy, drama and action incredibly well, in a pretty much spot on way that a lot of films with this balance would only dream of doing so well. 'Kills on Wheels' is not to be mistaken for another gangster/hit-man film and a generic one, it is the rare sort of film these days that is tough and dark on the outside but is very warm and heartfelt when it comes to the substance.
Lets talk about 'Kills on Wheels' different elements. There are many times where it's very darkly funny with a refreshing edgy wit, while the action is uncompromisingly brutal, tense and exciting with some inventive choreography. Most surprising were the dramatic elements, there is some sentimentality here with the money for operation sub-plot but instead of being mawkish or heavy-handed this was done in a way that was genuinely moving and heartfelt, also found it very easy to relate to.
Most striking about 'Kills on Wheels' is how it handles disability and its attitude towards it. As a disabled person myself (epilepsy and having had an operation for scoliosis, also have Aspergers Syndrome though my problems are nothing compared to the disabilities of the characters here), 'Kills on Wheels' really resonated with me and its treatment of disabilities was done with inspirational honesty. Also really admired the film's guts to address all the preconceptions and generalisations of disabilities and challenge them, something that is really truthfully done, the disabilities depicted here (including paralysis and cerebral palsy, both awful to live with and have real admiration for anybody going through it and doing their best to overcome them) are deserving to be addressed and made aware of far more than it is.
It ('Kills on Wheels') is a very well made film too. Especially in the ingeniously shot and edited action sequences and its deft handling of its mix of cinematic styles. The direction is tight and controlled, it's tautly paced and the script is beautifully balanced and smartly written.
Zoltan Fenyvesi, Szabolcs Thuroczy and Adam Fekete all give brave and inspirational performances and make their struggles powerfully real. Dusan Vitanovic similarly plays adeptly and provokes chills.
Overall, wonderful and has so much more to it than one would think reading the title. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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