When you have a Director that is on a hot streak you tend to get excited for their upcoming projects and maybe even put new releases down on your calendar. Andy Goddard has definitely been working some magic on the small screen the last couple years. He has directed episodes of Marvel’s Daredevil, Luke Cage and the upcoming Iron Fist and that alone should give him some credibility. Now let us get to A Kind of Murder. The performances he drags out of his actors goes from bland and unwatchable to over the top and unbelievable. If his goal was to have Jessica Biel’s character be so unlikable and unsympathetic that you kind of hope that her husband is her killer then he succeeded. I am guessing he probably wanted the subject of the title of the film to actually illicit some sort of emotion from the audience when she was killed. Andy Goddard absolutely failed. I wanted her to die. I wanted her to die before she was murdered and attempted to commit suicide. She was that miserable of a human being and was sucking the life out of her supporting husband who was clearly trying to make the best of things.
This brings me to Patrick Wilson’s character. his development in the film is all over the place. He starts as a supporting husband in a terrible marriage who is basically being held hostage to the whims of his psychotic depressive wife. Suddenly he succumbs without warning to the wiles of another woman after his wife drives him in that direction for the entire first act. My issue here is why does he stand by her through countless accusations and an attempted suicide only suddenly cave? He was resigned to his fate and there was never an explanation for his sudden lapse in loyalty other than he just decided to fuck the hot blonde. Then he suddenly becomes cold and lays down the law to his wife and tells her he is divorcing her. Okay, I can get behind this radical shift in his philosophy because she is a massive, life-sucking bitch but then he goes and does the craziest thing. She leaves to visit her sick mother and he rushes to the bus station to stop her. WHY!? This is a win for him. She leaves and he can bang his new girl until he is chafing. His lawyer can draw up papers and send them to her mother’s residence and game over. But instead he drastically shifts to chasing her down to stop her and then the next morning she is found dead. Clearly the point of the film is the mystery of did he do it or did she kill herself at this point. But from moment one it is clear he killed her.
The next act of the film has Patrick Wilson’s character lying to the detective and then almost immediately caving and telling the truth or a version of the truth. He panics and lies or omits easily verifiable information or leaves evidence of foreknowledge of the crime he copied in a scrap book. He is inept. He is stupid and painfully bad at lying. Oh, did I mention he writes detective and crime novels? They must be the worst fucking crime novels ever if he did not know how to just deny everything and stick to his story. It was maddening.
The detective was incompetent as well.I have enjoyed Vincent Kartheiser ever since Mad Men so I was disappointment that he was basically the same character from that show but as a cop. If it wasn’t for Patrick Wilson’s character constantly giving him details or clues or mini confessions the detective would be basically shitting the bed with the investigation. Not to mention he is already on a case of another man who had his wife murdered at the same spot. (The aforementioned news clipping) Eddie Marsan plays the original husband and Vincent’s character knows he is guilty of killing his wife and knows Patrick Wilson is guilty too and HE NEVER SOLVES THE CASE!!!! He inadvertently pits the two against each other which leads to a final showdown, out of fucking nowhere mind you. This leads to one man dying and the other laying there smiling because he got away with it. This movie was pointless. This movie would have been better directed by Michael Bay and I hate Michael Bay with a fiery passion. He would have at least thrown a hip-hop talking Autobot into the film to make it watchable. The acting was terrible and I only have Andy Goddard to blame for this. The story progression is disjointed and the protagonist shifts way too much to where you kind of just wish everyone would die and end the shitty movie.
I did not pay to watch this film and I still feel like i paid with my time.It is rated R for some unknown reason. There was no nudity or excessive gore or violence. Unless the movie rating board thought the acting was so offensive that it deserved to be restricted. That makes sense actually. It grossed 978 dollars last weekend when it opened and I think the director should write an apology to each person who spent money to see it. The end of the movie literally has the cops let Patrick Wilson’s character off the hook because they think he is too stupid to have done the crime. You know what? I kind of follow that logic. I think the movie wants us to assume Jessica Biel killed herself but that makes everything even more confusing and a bigger shit show. Fuck this movie. Do not watch it. Go watch Jessica Biel in Summer Catch because she can not act and only is good for showing off her body. That is evident. Do not watch another film by Andy Goddard. He clearly can only direct when there is a studio holding his puppet strings.