Kill Me Three Times (2014)

(On Cable TV, November 2015) Chronologically-challenged crime comedies have been a sub-genre for almost two decades since Pulp Fiction popularized the form, and even the best examples of the genre still seem to labour under the shadow of Tarantino.  But as with every sub-genre, it does have its specific pleasures to offer to fans.  Australian effort Kill Me Three Times doesn’t re-invent anything, but it does play the game competently enough, and offers as a bonus Simon Pegg in an unusually villainous role.  Much of the story is your genre-standard mix of vengeance, corrupt cops, murderous couples, coveted bags of money and characters left for dead.  The story reboots three times, and the result doesn’t aim much higher than being a competent genre exercise.  As such, your evaluation of Kill Me Three Times will hinge on your overall tolerance for such crime comedies and improbable plot twists.  Fans will appreciate the result, what with its unusual Australian scenery and go-for-broke forward narrative rhythm: Director Kriv Stenders keeps things moving even when he’s rewinding to tells his story from another point of view.  Simon Pegg clearly has fun playing the black-clad imperturbable assassin, while Alice Braga makes for a sympathetic damsel-in-distress.  Otherwise, Kill Me Three Times fills up an unassuming evening of sunny Australian noir comedy.  It could have been much, much worse.

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