The Kill Hole's Mess Is Saved By Its Talented Cast
Serious-minded to a fault, this debut feature from writer-director Mischa Webley is a bit of a mess, but committed work from a talented cast gives it unexpected power. Chadwick Boseman is Sam Drake, an African-American Iraq-war vet living in Seattle. Working as a cabbie, Sam is haunted by memories of a war crime in which he participated, and that he can't quite talk about in the veteran's support group he attends religiously. (Billy Zane does fine work as the group moderator.) In a plot development that doesn't ring the least bit true, Drake is approached by a private security firm and tasked with tracking down and ultimately killing a mercenary (Tory Kittles) who's threatening to reveal the company's dark secrets. Improbably, Sam trudges into the mountains to find Devin, while continuing to meditate, in never-ending voiceover, on the emptiness of life: "Scream at the life around you; pretend it ain't just like prison." Devin turns out be just as pretentious—one senses that Webley has watched Apocalypse Now more than once—but Boseman and Kittles somehow push past the blather to reveal the inconsolable grief and fury that so often haunts our vets.
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