Why Isn't This A Film? - Kane & Lynch

What have we got here then?

Kane & Lynch is an Eidos published videogame released in 2007 on PS3, XBox360 and PC.

OK fine. What’s it about?

Kane is an ex-mercenary forced by his old employees, The7, to recover a briefcase for them which they wrongly believe he stole. Lynch is employed by The7 to keep an eye on Kane and ensure he completes the task successfully. The game can be played as co-op or in single player mode as Kane and sees the player having to complete various missions in order to get the briefcase

Interesting. Is there something more?

The game adds several edges to the otherwise bog-standard plot in an effort to spice things up a little. For a start, The7 also take Kane's estranged wife and daughter hostage, leading him to realise fairly early on that the only way to ever escape the shady group is to kill them all. This is complicated further by Lynch who Kane must attempt to win over, an action which also doesn't prove easy given Lynch's history as a psychopathic killer and his management of his psychological problems, further adding complexity to the duo's relationship and their chances of success.

Save me the trouble then – is it any good?

There are moments of promise and some levels which blend all of the above very well but overall Kane & Lynch is rather a disappointment. The simple squad control system should work really well but muddy AI sees your team mates hiding within touching distance of enemies but doing nothing when you tell them to 'cover', or charging head first into a group of them when you tell them to 'attack'. The plot too, although at least attempting to broaden itself, feels too much like it's trying to fit itself around a videogame 'go here, do that' structure and certain characters act illogically or are just forgotten. All in all, it's a rather unsatisfying experience which could have, and probably should have, been more polished and significantly slicker.


Well, it is mercifully short and, as we say, some of the set pieces and individual scenes are enjoyable to play through once. Really though, key problems override any and all of the redeeming features.

What are its chances of being made as a film?

They are excellent and when we say that, we actually mean: near to a certainty. The film is already in pre-production and received some inflated publicity for its current 2011 release date around the time of the Cannes film festival, mainly due to some clever positioning of an early poster by the filmmakers. Having said that, Empire have recently reported some apparent changes in director and with the film's IMDb page currently further complicating the matter, there might be some tears before this one arrives in the cinema.

But who'd star in it?

Currently Bruce Willis (as Kane) and Jamie Foxx (as Lynch) are attached although if the film continues to swim in the dangerous waters of pre-production for too long then look out for the dreaded 'scheduling conflict' announcement.

Willis will probably make a fine Kane although our choice would be someone who comes with a little less baggage. Nathan Fillion might fit the bill if he fancies stepping out of the 'action comedy' sub-genre, as might, in this sort of thing, someone like 50 Cent. Gerard Butler has worked with (possible director) F. Gary Gray and Foxx before and would certainly fit the physicality of Kane as would Jason Statham, whose face has appeared in mock-ups. Foxx, an actor who has so far played fairly 'cool, calm and collected' characters seems by far the strangest of the two choices. Lynch is required to do some fairly dark things in the game and lurches from periods of lucidity to periods of lunacy. Chris Cooper could probably pull it off and would add some heavyweight acting opposite a Butler or a 50. Foxx's Miami Vice co-star Colin Farrell can certainly pull off a bit of madness and he likewise would do well across from a more obvious action star.

Will it be any good?

Taking away the poor gameplay, there is some good material in terms of plot that could have been pillaged for the film to create a few good set pieces and an interesting story. If Willis and Foxx remain then it'll be interesting to see how they pair off but for us, there's too much measured calm in that duo for two characters who are literally and metaphorically 'on the edge' of several dubious things. Obviously, with it being a videogame adaptation, the best bet, as always, is no, it won't be very good.

Anything else I should know about it?

F Gary Gray's last film was Law Abiding Citizen which we didn't think was half as bad as everyone else did. Despite a poor critical reception, Kane & Lynch is getting a videogame sequel which you can read about here.

Why Isn't This A Film? is a regular Film Intel feature which takes a book (you know... one of those things with pages in, doesn't project on to a screen, makes small rustling noises), comic, video game or graphic novel and assesses its adaptation prospects. One day this feature will get something right and we will win something major and valuable. Possibly.

1 comment:

  1. I probably would watch that but it will be rubbish. Can't see any way that this will break the run of crap videogame films. Disagree on Foxx though, I think he's awesome.