Excerpt: Mark Steven Johnson's Killing Season is a hard movie to take seriously, which is particularly unfortunate since it deals with such weighty issues as genocide, the ethical compromises that everyone makes in combat, and the lingering effects of wartime decisions on participants years down the line.
Summary: “Killing Season” barely registers on the radar, a forgettable action thriller with John Travolta and Robert De Niro as Bosnian war vets playing a deadly game of vengeance in the Appalachian woods.
Excerpt: You know, it’s kind of funny. When I saw the cover for Killing Season I had to do a double take. Is that really John Travolta and Robert De Niro on the cover for a movie that I’ve never heard of? Furthermore, is there a reason for it? There’s gotta be, otherwise the marketing folks would be inundating us with advertisements telling us how we need to see this film starring two modern Hollywood legends. I don’t know about you, but I never saw those ads.
Conclusion: Killing Season is a well-executed film about the lingering effects of war on man, not so much on the physical man but rather the inner man. It's a tale of how lives change, beliefs change, goals change, and how a snapshot of terror in a larger portrait of violence can redefine two men over the years and bring them together onto a new battlefield, one not necessarily of their own making but one over which they have ultimate control.
Conclusion: Not as bad as the critical drubbing and virtually non-existent theatrical release suggest, Killing Season is nonetheless not as good as you want a film pitting Robert De Niro against John Travolta to be. Wince-inducing gore and torture pad this thin story to feature length, and they make it difficult to take the film's ideas about war remotely serious.
Summary: Originally this film was supposed to have Nicholas Cage play opposite John Travolta. Truthfully that would have probably fared about the same as this film in front of us. This film has a much better shot playing as an indie film with two small time actors or if we are going big, let’s go Daniel Craig as the NATO officer and Liev Shreiber as the Serbian soldier. Then you might have something.
Excerpt: Memories of Bosnian war reconnects veterans, one seeking peaceful recluse from mental strain, the other doling out vengeance to those who wronged him. Killing Season is fiery with its violence, a decidedly tense two-way rumble between experienced soldiers amidst open Appalachian Mountain terrain.
Conclusion: The biggest problem with 'Killing Season' is that it can't seem to decide if it wants to be a fresh take on 'The Most Dangerous Game' or Enemy Mine . The result is a mish-mash of a movie where scenes that feature the two leads trying to kill each other are mixed with scenes where the main characters seem like old camping buddies. Long before either soldier decides what to do with the other, you'll want to take this film into the woods and put it out of its misery.
Excerpt: Following his service in the Serbian War and a divorce from his wife, Ben Ford (Robert De Niro) has become a bit of a hermit, living in a cabin on a secluded mountaintop, where he can take photos of nature in peace. Unfortunately, he's about to be paid a visit by Emil Kovac (John Travolta), a Serbian who appears friendly at first, but eventually reveals the reason for his visit is to hunt Ben, who shot him and left him for dead years earlier.
Excerpt: When the role calls for “cold-blooded Serbian war criminal,” who wouldn’t think, “John Travolta”? That preposterous casting stunt provides the main source of eccentricity in Killing Season , an alternately bland and over-determined thriller about two men settling an old war score in the Appalachian woods.