Boy Kills World has a lot going for it. There’s a stylistic aspect of the film that cannot be denied. It’s designed to feel like a video game, complete with boss fights, and power ups. In that way, the film succeeds immensely. The action is frenetic and fluid. The story however, is where the film falters a bit.

Bill Skarsgard stars as Boy, a deaf and mute kid (who turns into a man) whose family was killed by the evil Hilda Van Der Koy (Famke Janssen). He’s rescued by Shaman (Yayan Ruhian) and is trained into a killing machine, who’s body is the ultimate weapon. His targets are HIlda, Melanie (Michelle Dockery), Gideon (Brett Gelman), and Glen Van Der Koy (Shalto Copley). The only issue is that they have the best security in the city and an army of goons to protect them. Their security detail is led by June27 (Jessica Rothe), who is as formidable, if not more formidable than Boy. As Boy undertakes his quest, he’s helped out by The Resistance. The Resistance has seen better days, and it only has two members left, Basho (Andrew Koji) and Bennie (Isaiah Mustafa). Boy’s inner voice is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin, which leads to some funny moments.

It’s a pretty standard story up until you get to where things get complicated. I won’t give away the twist here, but there is a twist. It ends up making the villain of the film a bit more sympathetic than I’d have liked. It makes a bit of sense, but in the grand scheme of the movie, it doesn’t really make anyone look better.

You’re not sitting down for Boy Kills World for a Shakespearean story though. You’re here to see Bill Skarsgard kick ass and take names. While he doesn’t talk during the movie, Skarsgard was a fantastic choice because he captures all the emotions and comic timing that you’d need, with just his body. It also helps that he’s jacked out of his mind and the fights all look fantastic because of that.

Besides Skarsgard, Jessica Rothe and Yayan Ruhian are the stars of the show here. They both kick an immeasurable amount of ass in their roles as June27 and Shaman, respectively. June27 and Boy fighting shows off their distinctive styles, with a more structured and trained style for June and Boy’s style that is looser and more fluid. The main villains of the film, surprisingly, don’t do any of the fighting. They’re all carried by the goons on the ground. Those goons do a good job of providing cannon fodder for Boy, but still pose enough of a threat to be credible. There’s even one drug-addled henchman that keeps going after Boy, even when limbs and other body parts are torn off. It’s one of the funnier moments in the film.

So, what ends up with Boy Kills World? Well, the movie still kicks a tremendous amount of ass. There are other things that don’t work as well. The music completely takes you out of the action. I get it, Boy isn’t as well adjusted and might have the mind of a teenager in the body of a man, but the weirdly child-like sounding soundtrack doesn’t fit the action at all. In it’s most heart-pumping moments, when the soundtrack should swell, it goes out with a whimper musically.

The other sort of nitpicky thing is that any sort of body damage that the characters take doesn’t really translate on screen. Someone gets stabbed and the object gets dragged down their leg, making for a gruesome visual, but in the next shot, there’s no blood, no real wound. It makes the more brutal moments in the film feel lesser.

Even with those quibbles, Boy Kills World is incredibly stylish. It’s one of the most visually striking films of the year, so far. The action is hard-hitting, and while the heroes might not look like they’re taking damage, the goons definitely do. Whether that’s a cheese-grater to the face, broken limbs, or getting stabbed with a snowman’s carrot nose.

Boy Kills World is very much worth watching for action fans who want to see an all-in, brawl-out, slobberknocker of a movie.

Boy Kills World releases in theaters on April 26th.

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