Kill Your Friends (2015) Review

Kill Your Friends Poster
Title: Kill Your Friends
Director: Owen Harris
Starring: Nicholas Hoult
James Corden
Craig Roberts
Rosanna Arquette
Joseph Mawle
Genre: Crime/Thriller
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 mins
Music: Junkie XL
Studio: Pinewood
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 6 November 2015
See If You Like: American Psycho
24 Hour Party People

The music industry is corrupt and full of drugs. This is no startling revalation but it is one that Kill your Friends, the adaptation of the successful 2008 John Niven novel is making sure you fully understand.

Nicholas Hoult (X-Men Days of Future Past) plays A&R man Steven Stelfox (Think Patrick Bateman meets Simon Cowell but lacking the charm or talent) who works for the music company Unigram during the late 90’s. Spiceworld and Brit Pop are taking over the globe and Stelfox and his band of merry men want to find themselves the next breakthrough hit. The only issue really is that none of them them have any sort of real talent and they all have a penchant for class-A drugs.

Director Owen Harris, who had previously worked on the hit TV series Black Mirror clearly wanted to create a British answer to American Psycho, or failing that The Wolf of Wall Street. Unlike Belfort or Bateman though Stelfox is quite like most people you would actually meet in an English night club- loud, obnoxious, stupid and instantly forgettable. Hoult gives it his all in the lead role and it’s nice to see him trying to branch away from from some of his previous work by taking an edgier role but the film never gives him the chance to really perform.

Instead the opening half an hour of the movie is him gibbering on about how corrupt and wild the music industry is and how artists never get the chance to make it because the companies just care about money, so and so forth. The whole music industry corruption idea is as old as time itself and this offers no new take on it.

Craig Roberts (Submarine) continues his fine work though as Stelfox’s prodigy, providing the movie with the only real bit of comic belief. Unfortunately every other attempt at comedy falls flat; relying on shock value references to the holocaust and misogyny.

Kill Your Friends is like a bad night out in a cheap British club;  full of coked-up obnoxious morons who lack both wit and charm, and rely on misogyny in a vain attempt at entertaining you. Stick with Bret Easton Ellis and Christian Bale.

Liam Hoofe@LiamHoofe.

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