The Movie Waffler New Release Review [Blu-Ray/VOD] - WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE! | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [Blu-Ray/VOD] - WHY DON’T YOU JUST DIE!

why don't you just die review
A young man's plan to murder his girlfriend's father quickly backfires.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Kirill Sokolov

Starring: Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev, Evgeniya Kregzhde, Michael Gor, Elena Shevchenko

why don't you just die poster

For a young man, meeting your girlfriend's father can be a stressful enough event at the best of times, but when the old man in question is a hulking corrupt Russian cop, whom your girlfriend has asked you to murder... That's the scenario Matvey (Aleksandr Kuznetsov - think a young, Slavic Ewan McGregor) finds himself in as the unenviable protagonist of Kirill Sokolov's attention grabbing directorial debut, Why Don't You Just Die!

Why Don't You Just Die review

Having fallen for his girlfriend Olya's (Evgeniya Kregzhde) suspicious sob story about the abuse she suffered at her father's hands as a child, Matvey rocks up to the home of Andrey (Vitaliy Khaev), the man who may have become his father-in-law in more conventional circumstances, armed with a hammer. Wily old cop Andrey suspects something is up and the tables are quickly turned on Matvey, who finds himself beaten black and blue and handcuffed in Andrey's bathroom. Thus a chain of violent events is set off that will gradually turn the green and amber decor of the home Andrey shares with his timid wife Tasha (Elena Shevchenko) a shade of crimson.

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I haven't seen a directorial debut that combines arrogance with talent to such a level as Sokolov's in quite some time. In the wrong hands, Why Don't You Just Die! is another insufferable violent crime caper from a young filmmaker who believes himself the next Tarantino, and heaven knows we've seen plenty of examples over the past couple of decades. But Sokolov has the skill and artistry to back up his ambitions, and watching him weave his story with flashbacks and witty asides, you wonder why so many other filmmakers have failed at this sort of storytelling.

Why Don't You Just Die review

Imagine a Guy Ritchie movie, but, you know, actually enjoyable, and you'll have some idea of what you're in store for here, as Sokolov's bloody, and bloody hilarious, yarn brings together hardened tough guys, out of their depth millenials, harried housewives and one of the nastiest femmes fatale of recent decades. At the centre of it all is an ongoing duel between Andrey and Matvey, who just doesn't know when to quit and becomes increasingly battered, bloodied and bruised as the movie progresses.

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Like Sam Raimi did so well with The Evil Dead, Sokolov channels the cartoon violence of The Three Stooges, mining laugh out loud moments from the level of physical pain inflicted on our hapless young hero. With his Stan Laurel-esque expressions, Kuznetsov is perfectly cast as the film's human punching bag, while Khaev has an understanding of the comic timing of physical comedy that's all too rare in these post Jackie Chan times.

Why Don't You Just Die review

Despite combining over the top bloodshed with unrelenting misanthropy and a decidedly politically incorrect brand of humour, Why Don't You Just Die! never feels nasty and attention seeking in the manner of something like the Kingsman movies. While the home its action takes place in certainly needs a good hosing down by its climax, you don't come away from the movie feeling like you need a shower yourself. It's a Tom & Jerry cartoon brought to life, as innocent a pleasure in its own way as the mismatched brawls between 007 and Jaws in the Roger Moore Bond movies, or Inspector Clouseau's apartment trashing bouts with Cato. To think we wasted a decade watching snooze-inducing torture porn movies when ultra-violence could have been making us roll in the aisles like Sokolov's film does. Whether Hollywood comes calling or he sticks to his native Russia, I can't wait to see what Sokolov brings us next.

Why Don't You Just Die! is on UK blu-ray/VOD April 20th.

2019 movie reviews