De Niro and Travolta in Killing Season
Killing Season is supposed to be one of the Black List screenplays, which is a list of scripts that Hollywood ignores because it would rather release crap. Evan Daugherty is the screenwriter of the movie. He has also written Snow White and the Huntsman as well as the upcoming reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With his credentials alone, people doubt Killing Season to be any good.
Studios use the Black List to hype up movies. Killing Season is one of them. It is a sadistically violent story that stars Robert De Niro and John Travolta. The former is a retired US soldier who has fought in the Yugoslav wars. The latter is a Serbian who has a score to settle with the American.
Emil Kovac (John Travolta) was a Serbian soldier. Benjamin Ford (Robert De Niro) was part of the NATO force during the war. At present he spends his time at a hunting lodge in the Appalachians. He is enjoying the space away from his ex-wife and her new husband but regrets not seeing his son (Milo Ventimiglia).
Kovac befriends Ford and this leads to a hunting trip that turns into a different type of hunt. The guys don’t have guns. They have bows and arrows as they hunt down each other. One gory scene in Killing Season is when one of the men gets hit in the calf and gets hung from a string pulled through the hole in the calf.
But right after that scene, it seems like the tension in the first part disappears. It becomes predictable due to the setup that is repeated throughout the movie. One of them catches the other and then the latter escapes and the hunt starts again.
De Niro’s performance in Killing Season is subdued and it is obvious that body doubles are used. Travolta opt for a very unintelligible Slavic accent that is distracting. Killing Season is a cartoonish depiction of a two man battle.