PROFILE OF A KILLER (2012/13)




"White male, early 20's to mid 30's, average height, average build, drives a vehicle, may or may not be saddled with serious mommy issues." Any one who's seen at least 4 episodes of CSI can tell you that 94% of FBI profiles start out this way. But what about the other 6%? The serial killers who don't fit the profile norms? That's where profilers make their proverbial "bones" as the kids say. Day to day law enforcement officers who go to profilers in these unique cases for their distinct ability to look at a case and draft a composite, not necessarily of a suspect, but of the type of person that might be committing these crimes. But what if it's not law enforcement that's looking for a profile? What if it's an actual serial killer who's looking for a profile - on themselves?

Saul Aitken (Gabriel Angieri) is a retired FBI profiler who makes his living writing books about the various killers he's profiled and helped catch over the years. He's gained some renown in both the law enforcement and literary community for his work and is "famous" by FBI profiler standards. Sort of like Sigorney Weavers character in 'Copycat' only without the agoraphobia and the killer legs. When bodies start to pop up across the northern mid-west, Saul is called back in to help craft a profile for the baffled police and FBI working the cast. Agent Cade (Elizabeth Fradenburgh) isn't too happy with Saul's involvement. But when Saul is kidnapped by the killer and forced into his sick game it becomes a race against time to not only save Sauls life but to prevent the unorthodox killer from claiming his next victim.

Written and Directed by Caspian Tredwell-Owen, 'Profile Of a Killer' is an exercise in patience that had me pulling out my hair at times, only to be saved by two tremendous performances. At an hour and fifty minutes plus, the film is probably Ten to fifteen minutes too long. The film starts out promising. Bodies are discovered. Saul is abducted. 20 minutes in and we are right into the heart of the matter. Then we slow down...a lot.

I can tell you from personal experience that second acts are always the hardest to write. Knowing where you want to start and where you want to get to is fairly easy, but getting there? That's what separates the men from the boys (or girls from the ladies, let's not be sexist here). Tredwell-Owen has a great seed for an idea, and I want to be as spoiler free as possible so I'll be vague at best. It's something that I haven't seen, outside of maybe this season of 'Dexter', it's a great hook. But unfortunately it gets lost in filler police drama. I don't want to be too critical, there are people, the CSI crowd, who might buy into whole procedural aspect of the second act. From and acting and writing point of view though, give me two great actors, alone, playing off each other for 40 minutes over an episode of CSI any day.

I mentioned the great "hook" earlier. Essentially, the killer has Saul captive, forcing him to not only to create a profile based on his actions, but also to predict what the killer may do next. Failing to predict correctly or to profile the killer leads to the killer claiming the next victim. The killer tries to stay one step ahead of Sauls profile, but gets sloppy in his execution, leading to his ultimate downfall. That alone is a great plot, the kind that makes me jealous and wish I had thought of it.

The "two person play" narrative style is really only as good as the actors participating in it. Luckily for all involved, including the viewer, the actors in the serial killer parts 'Profile Of A Killer' are tremendous. I don't know where Gabriel Angieri came from (maybe a Robert DeNiro cloning factory) but he is really the glue that holds everything together. It's one of the best performances I've seen in a long time. It doesn't hurt that the actor he plays off (I'm not going to spoil it), is equally up to the task.

'Profile Of A Killer' is a good film, it's wonderfully acted and extremely clever. It had the potential however, to be a great film. A cleaner, more focused second act and less of a procedural feel would have served the film better. Like always though, I encourage you to watch the film and form your own opinions. 'Profile Of  Killer' is available for purchase at Amazon and I'm assuming other retailers.

*** out of ***** stars

Thanks for Reading - "Enjoy Every Sandwich"


No comments:

Post a Comment