Bill Skarsgård has finally made it to the lead roles. And if last year he was another antagonist of John Wick in the fourth chapter about the disgraced former hitman, now he has become a hero like Wick, only black comedy. In Boy Kills World, a dystopian retro-futuristic satirical vendetta action film, the actor portrays a deaf and mute nameless Boy who lives in a fictional totalitarian world and is furiously seeking revenge on a brutal authoritarian ruler (Famke Janssen) for the murder of his sister.

Title Boy Kills World
Genre action, black comedy, dystopia, martial arts
Director Moritz Mor
Starring Bill Skashgård, Jessica Roth, Andrew Koji, Famke Janssen, Michelle Dockery, Sharlto Copley, Yayan Rouhian and others
Studio Raimi Productions, Vertigo Entertainment, Nthibah Pictures, Hammerstone Studios, Lionsgate Films
Timing 1 hour 51 minutes
Year 2023
Website IMDb

If you try to seriously retell what is happening on the screen, you will get a total abracadabra in the spirit of that enchanting nonsense that the protagonist seems to hear, reading the lips of another guy with poor articulation, and voices to us, the audience, in his voiceover. It’s quite obvious that the authors, while inventing and writing this story, were openly mocking a bunch of well-known synopses and clichés. So, the hero, who has no name, no voice, no clear background and just runs out on stage with a lot of enthusiasm to start the performance, was trained in the jungle by an equally mysterious and deliberately sketchy Shaman, so that the Boy, having acquired the necessary skills and accumulated the necessary rage over the years of sadistic training, went ahead and cut the entire monarchical family to pieces.

"Пробивний чувак" / Boy Kills World
Still from the movie Boy Kills World

Boy Kills World is so strongly and persistently reminiscent of a video game that, of course, it is not based on any real video game, but the protagonist’s nostalgic reminiscences are primarily related to the moment when he and his sister played a primitive arcade fighting game on a slot machine (this fighting game, invented for the plot, eventually resulted in the creation of a real mobile toy Super Dragon Punch Force 3 (Google Play, App Store, Steam), which was released simultaneously with the film). In fact, the childhood memory determines not only the protagonist’s path, but also the trajectory and mechanics of this path, so the Boy carries out his bloody revenge not in the space of existence and reflection, but in the beat’em up game subgenre.

Кадр з фільму "Пробивний чувак" / Boy Kills World
Still from the movie Boy Kills World

On the one hand, it parodies The Hunger Games and The Running Man (here, the totalitarian government also organizes a reality TV show where participants are not only killed live, but actually killed by ruthless stalkers), but instead of Cryo, Chainsaw, Dynamo, Ball Lightning, the players are killed… Snowball, Goat, Rabbit, Pineapple… The gladiatorial arena looks like a children’s New Year’s musical in a school auditorium with cardboard sets and clumsy costumes, and the broadcast is sponsored by a cornflake manufacturer. So on the other hand, the authors tell nothing more than a fairy tale in which a brother and sister have to defeat either the Gingerbread House Witch or the Snow Queen.

Кадр з фільму "Пробивний чувак" / Boy Kills World
Still from the movie Boy Kills World

Boy Kills World is a thoroughly eccentric and bizarre movie in which anything can happen, and the setting at each new level can change to any extremely unexpected situation or extremely unexpected element: green tropics, colorful hallucinations, George Orwell’s gray concrete, training in the spirit of Kill Bill, Star Wars stormtroopers, white gloves in the spirit of Coriolanus Snow, a bloodbath inside a matinee performance for the youngest… Anything can happen suddenly. For example, in the midst of a discussion, a machine can fall on Charlton Copley and leave a wet spot on his head. And no less unexpectedly, a carrot and a vegetable grater can become a deadly weapon.

Кадр з фільму "Пробивний чувак" / Boy Kills World
Still from the movie Boy Kills World

It would seem that such nonsense makes logic completely impossible. But in fact, there is nothing simpler and more logical than the world of the Boy Who Kills the World. Since he has never had an adult life, he lives in a world that distorts childhood in every way possible. And since he is also deaf and dumb and can only imagine the sounds of the world, and read the meanings with a lot of mistakes due to the imperfect articulation of speakers, the world around him exists in the form of incomprehensibly wild gibberish… and he (what else can he do?!) has to finish that abagalamaga.