|Title:||Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife|
|Runtime:||1 Hour 19 mins|
|Certificate:||US: Not Rated
|Release Date:||US: March 03 2015
UK: April 13 2015
|See If You Like:||Horrible Bosses,
Very Bad Things,
It’s always fascinating to see what certain actors and actresses do when they’re not in the current limelight. Most are willing to take on smaller roles as they apply themselves to seeking a new big role but hats off to those who try and do something a little different and get behind the camera for a change. Sadly, despite having a cast filled with recognisable faces and having prior experience in directing, Scott Foley (The Unit) brings us a basic black comedy with no humour whatsoever in the toneless Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife.
So Ward (Donald Faison, Scrubs) has had a baby with and married Stacy (Dagmara Domińczyk, The Immigrant) who is a complete and utter cow to him 24/7. His friends over a round of golf decide wouldn’t it be funny if, y’know, they killed her? Sadly, the idea becomes more and more endearing and David (Patrick Wilson, Insidious: Chapter 2) start formulating a plan whilst Stacy rubs up and falls out with everyone in their circle of friends. Whilst getting Ward on board, local police officer Bruce (Greg Grunberg, Masters Of Sex) starts taking more of an interest in his neighbour’s activities.
Being an indie labour of love, you wouldn’t normally mind some lost in the shuffle cast members given that this has some decent names involved but sadly, Foley hasn’t seem to gain a knack of drawing any kind of performance from his cast, and no-one here really excels in any way. You have some really good and instantly memorable actors & actresses here and they conjure up a big load of nothing between them. If you told me about 5 years ago, I would be watching such an unfunny comedy movie (even a black comedy) with three of the most well known names from Scrubs, Heroes & Desperate Housewives, where I wouldn’t even titter once, I’d have called you a liar. The cast is wasted here badly, in a blot on everyone’s careers, as no-one makes this worth watching just with a decent performance.
Not beating around the bush here – this is desperate when it comes to black comedy. It is a subjective matter, because it attempts to make you laugh at some things you shouldn’t, but most of the time in Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife, there’s no situation here where you can find a morbid sense of humour at worst. Oh look there is a man having a breakdown in the desert over killing someone and has to get rid of his section of the corpse – but ‘hilariously’ he has to go mess up the face some more so she’s unrecognisable. That scene goes on for AGES with no end in sight and there is just no joke that registers because it’s played so seriously.
Surely part of the black comedy comes from the fact that it’s bleak and horrible situations happening to people that it shouldn’t be but there is no good or pure character to latch onto here. Stacy is way too over the top unlikeable for me to care about anything bad happening to her. She hates her husband. She hates her kid. She hates her friends and no one will miss her. So, why am I meant to care if she’s gone exactly? There’s no sense of morals when we’ve been presented with “she deserves it” and the film just plows on and everything is fine in the end so there’s no drama whatsoever. I would argue that even Ward’s friends aren’t the best of people to talk to in terms of taking the high ground when it comes to bumping anyone as there’s no obvious sense of doing something clever in the screenplay like ‘decent people making bad decisions’ like Bad Neighbours. It’s simplistic to the extreme with no deviation from it’s badly thought out course with nothing else in this film like a subplot or running joke to highlight as making the best out of a bad film.
The 78 minute runtime is laborious to get through, which is an achievement. With no deviation from the main point of the build up to, them killing Stacy and getting rid of the body, this film just drags on and on with a distinct lack of fresh ideas. The ending takes liberal use of deus ex machina to cover plotholes and kills any tension you may have had because that would be too interesting. The way the film just simply ends works well – they’ve killed someone, covered it up well enough and all moved on. With absolutely no emotional fallout or anything of the sort, the characters just simply get on with their lives. Foley must have been under some pretty severe limitations in film making but good lord the cinematography and poor editing make you wonder what the point of making this was. There are no new ideas. Every shot is plain, with no creativity. Questionable cuts keep appearing with no reason why they’ve been included, and even though the cast are all related to one another it somehow feels like they’re strangers to one another.
I hate to crap on something which is undoubtedly a pet project of any film maker but Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife is quite possibly the worst black comedy I’ve seen in awhile with terrible direction and the waste of a good name cast. There’s no sense of reason or humour behind the screenplay to go ahead with killing someone, even if the victim is shown to be a horrible person. Whilst you look at something like this and don’t expect perfection, there should be at least progressive steps towards it. This film stumbles backwards onto it’s backside as it attempts the first.