Killing Emmett Young/ Emmett’s Mark (a film with Tim Roth)
Viewed the 2002-released Killing Emmett Young again (having seen it years ago), and found it once more an interesting suspenseful film…unique in its premise as in its entire story.
A young homicide detective, Emmett Young (Scott Wolf), finds himself with days to live due to a rapidly progressing terminal illness, and makes a decision to put a stop to his life while he’s still living it rather than wait for a painful death alone in a hospital. His way: placing a hit upon himself. But this is not the story, it is only a facet. Add to this, the life of the hit man (Tim Roth) – his past and present – all wrapped up with increasing rage toward the (always condescendingly provocative) man (Gabriel Byrne) who offers the hit job to him (for a fraction of what the young detective has paid him to have it done). Atop this, add the young detective’s devotion to capturing a serial killer before his own death…combining all these plots and additional subplots made for an intriguing story which kept me interested throughout.
Have read the writer/director titled this Emmett’s Mark (though it was later changed to Killing Emmett Young)…it’s original title denotes much more of the story in my opinion.
The acting was excellent as was the cinematography (Lawrence Sher conveyed the mood of each scene perfectly) – and obviously the script and directing. It’s quite an achievement, as it was actor Keith Snyder’s first directing and writing venture.
The actors, all of them, fine in their roles, with Tim Roth (as always) incredibly outstanding in how he says everything…and how his demeanor superbly says even more…so convincingly believable he is that man, the hit man, with his feelings and thoughts. He surely becomes the character.
This is a drama and thriller, character-driven, well-paced, thoughtful, psychological and emotional, and intriguing start to finish. (It was nominated for the Grand Special Award, Deauville Film Festival; and was a 2002 Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival.) Intriguing to the degree that I still have questions…and continue thinking about possibilities and questions after viewing.
I find it interesting when a film has a good plot with good acting ends up (of course) lesser known and less noted/praised than many blockbusters that are just primarily boring due to too much action and little plot. I like and much prefer a well-crafted story like this, which is why one must often look to the lower-budget, independent, less recognized, and festival circuit to find interesting material.
I enjoyed and recommend it.