Fantaspoa 2019 Review: KILL BEN LYK Kills A Shitload Of Ben Lyks
You have to hand it to a movie that tells you exactly what to expect from the title down in terms of both plot and tone. Kill Ben Lyk makes good on its promise to be a bluntly violent movie about the killing of someone named Ben Lyk.
Make that a lot of someones named Ben Lyk. The film kicks off with one Ben Lyk death before we even know what’s going on. Another soon follows. In fact, it takes three dead Ben Lyks before the plot really even gets going.
And it goes like this: a shady crime lord type needs to kill a person but all he has is a name, Ben Lyk. No address or physical description or anything like that. So, unable to pinpoint the right guy, he goes full Terminator and has an assassin murder every Ben Lyk in London.
The main Ben Lyk we follow is a YouTuber and he is just as annoying and cowardly as we might expect. Kill Ben Lyk functions above all as a comedy, and its most persistent tool is undercutting its characters, which only works if those characters are distinct enough to be made to look foolish in the first place. Luckily, the film is very good at this. Before all is said and done, we meet a lot of Ben Lyks. They are not all equally developed, but the prominent ones are thoroughly realized, while the Lyks with less screentime are offered with sufficient caricature to keep them from devolving into featureless background Lyks.
There is a lot going on here, plot-wise. Eventually police gather all the Lyks together in a secluded location to keep them safe. This creates many intriguing threads to follow. Who is the primary Ben Lyk? Who is the assassin? What did Ben Lyk do in the first place? Which Ben Lyk will survive? How will the other Ben Lyks die?
No one is very likable, but the film is too silly for that to matter. Furthermore, the film’s violence successfully walks a fine line between gratuity and humor. It’s real enough to feel serious without affecting the established comic tone. The structure of the film’s second half isn’t all that different from a slasher, with two different whodunnit elements included as well to keep things interesting until the conclusion.
It goes without saying that if you happen to have an enemy named Ben Lyk, this will be the greatest film you ever see. For the rest of us, Kill Ben Lyk offers a great dose of gnarly fun and ends on a punchline for the ages. Sometimes, that’s all you need.