Sensitive New Age Killer (2000)

Director Savage has all the elements to create a film that’s gritty, grimy, contemporary and rich in texture, and yet, all we really receive is a film that’s just pretty good with a tone Savage can never seem to decide on at any instance. “Sensitive New Age Killer” wants to be many things at many times, and when it touches on all squares on the genre floor, it never seems to touch them with full satisfaction.

Paul as a young boy witnessed the notorious hit man “The Snake” kill a few lowlifes and since that moment he has dedicated his life to cleaning up the streets of all evil doers. Helping Paul with contract killings is his best friend George who has been having an affair with Paul’s wife. What Mark Savage does here is build himself his very own neo-noir set in the ghettos of Australia, featuring a man who has built his life and career as a hit man to emulate that of the mysterious assassin code named Snake.

At times Savage aims for a full blown gritty drama that’s half cooked. He then he aspires for light (read: bland) action comedy, and then seems to aim for Peckingpah proportions. Alas, he fails at that, too; which is not to say “Sensitive New Age Killer” is awful. In fact, I’ve seen much worse, and for what it is, it’s actually worth sitting through once and moving on to another title. I just wish for what is promised, it would actually deliver on a consistent and coherent tone in story and characterization. Paul is a family man who seeks to emulate a kind killer of his ilk, and really does make the declaration that he would be cold and ruthless.

Meanwhile, his wife is sleeping with a man who has a sick Oedipus Complex, and none of the overtones and bizarre themes attempted ever feel completely developed or realized. The attempted emotional anchor of Paul’s family in constant jeopardy is ill-conceived, and the attempted black comedy just never hits that tone of sick or humorous at any moment in time, and it’s a shame. Director Mark Savage has a real knack for tone and action, and “Sensitive New Age Killer” just runs on empty from minute one.