Why Don’t You Just Die!
A bloody mess seems to come to mind for Kirill Sokolov’s feature debut Why Don’t You Just Die! This gory comedy set in a single location isn’t shy of drilling through the bone, nor does it pull its punches in terms of action. But cranking every inch of violence up to ten cannot save a lifeless plot.
Vitaliy Khaev is strikingly intimidating as bent Russian copper Andrey, who seems to have angered everyone in his life, including his daughter and her new boyfriend Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov). This has led most of them to want to make an attempt on Andrey’s life.
The cast’s performances are all-round okay, but the clear drive for watching Why Don’t You Just Die! in the first place can only be a love of grit and gore. For a comedy, the laughs are had at a push, and the fight scenes are jarring in their inconsistency, alternating between legitimacy and spoof.
The film certainly has its shocking moments and the visuals won’t leave your mind anytime soon after watching. The cinematic influences on its tone are clear, from In Bruges to Knives Out, Free Fire, and even Meet the Parents. But all of these have one thing that Sokolov seemed to forget, and that’s substance.
The absence of a normal narrative structure is always a risk, one usually taken to avoid beating the same drum over and over, but in this case, we are left with an inert plot that all the gory fight sequences in the world can’t pump life into.
Yes, the cheap tricks are entertaining. The occasionally John Murphy-esque soundtrack is appropriate and complementary. But hammers, drills and double-barrelled shotguns make Why Don’t You Just Die! sound way more exciting for those who enjoy blood-soaked vengeance than it actually is.
Why Don’t You Just Die! is released digitally on demand on 20th April 2020.
Watch the trailer for Why Don’t You Just Die! here: