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Kill Your Friends - film review

PUBLISHED: 11:45 09 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:33 13 November 2015

Nicholas Hoult (Stelfox) in Kill Your Friends

Nicholas Hoult (Stelfox) in Kill Your Friends


A heavy duty cocaine haze envelopes this unsavoury adaption of John Niven’s cult novel which gleefully revels in unrepentant gratuitous debauchery.

Capturing the circus mania of the late nineties Britpop industry, Kill Your Friends centres on foul mouthed antihero A&R executive Steven Stelfox (Nicholas Hoult), whose sense of entitlement, greed and vulgarity is astronomically grandiose. Domineered by obscene profits and high-risk gambles this maniacal black satire favours corporate ladder ambition over musical prowess resulting in Stelfox’s predilection for homicidal tendencies. It is safe to say that likeability is a no-go zone throughout, with monologues and rants including top level cursing alongside Frankie Boyle-esque spiel on taboo topics ranging from Aids to the Holocaust.

With little to root for in this unpalatable exposé it is a grinding watch that is infinitely hampered by the incessant need to shock. Seeing James Corden’s comatose form being urinated on by Stelfox is a wince inducing sight that depressingly sets the overall tone. Director Owen Harris’ debut lacks the razor sharp punch needed and treads on already familiar filmic ground (think of the vastly superior American Psycho or The Wolf of Wall Street). Spending a 100+ minutes in the company of coke-addled cretins quickly becomes tiresome and leaves you appreciating your own co-workers that little bit more.

** 2 stars **

The film

• Run time: 103 mins

• Rating: 18

• Director: Owen Harris

• Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Craig Roberts, James Corden, Tom Riley, Georgia King, Joseph Mawle, Rosanna Arquette, Ed Skrein, Edward Hogg, Damien Molony.


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