Review: 'The Killing Jar'


For 90 minutes, we are teased with wondering exactly what the hell is going on.  Is Michael Madsen's character (credited as Doe) the one who just recently killed a family? Are any of the hostages the killer?  Do we even care?

The film begins in a diner where the entire film takes place.  A tired waitress (played by Amber Benson) just hates her job. Her boss (played by Danny Trejo) is a complete jackass.  A salesman (played by Harold Perrineau) is stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Another man named Hank (played by Kevin Gage) has a secret, (Again, with the secrets).  A teen boy and girl are there as well but they play the nobody cares about you, characters.

Michael Madsen walks in the diner and all hell breaks loose. (unless our minds explode, then hell would break even more!)  Why Doe decides to take these people hostage is anyone's guess. Maybe the cop (played by Lew Temple) just pushed his buttons a little too much. Maybe he is just a psychotic murderer. Maybe he is just wanting to play a game of Life or Death. Maybe Doe is wishing he actually had a name and is taking his anger out on them.

A man by the name of Mr. Greene (played by Jake Busey) shows up with a briefcase full of money for a man named Smith. Doe is, for some reason, obsessed with finding out who this Smith guy is and ties Greene down to a chair and later on, a couple of the other hostages.

Madsen's performance is nothing noteworthy but given the crappy material he was given, does an okay job.

The only good quality of the whole film is Harold Perrineau and his performance. He seems to flawlessly go through his performance with ease and it's a shame he just had to be in this film because he deserves much better than this. The way his character evolves over a short period of time is quite amazing to watch. He is the only reason I would maybe recommend this film. (He was also an executive producer for the film, alongside Michael Madsen)

If you are looking for a film to just waste some time because you want some noise in the house before you have to go to work on a Monday morning, you may be satisfied with this. If you are looking for a smart thriller, with all due respect, LOOK ELSEWHERE!

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