Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Killing of John Lennon

The Killing of John Lennon
Jonas Ball, Krisha Fairchild and Mie Omori

Rated: No rating 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 2, 2008 Released by: IFC Films

The Killing of John Lennon comes across as a driven docudrama on infamous assasin Mark David Chapman.

This treatment of the man, acted in a measured way by Jonas Ball, is hardly an indictment of someone who gunned down arguably the most beloved of Beatles outside of his apartment.

Director and writer Andrew Piddington seems to work arduously from Chapman's diaries. Initially there is unsubstantiated loathing towards his mother (Krisha Fairchild) and admonishing of his perplexed wife (Mie Omori).

The novel "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger becomes an obsession, identifying with Holden Caulfield's feelings toward "phoneys". John Lennon was a hippy that seemed to stand out in this category as the neurotic Chapman relocates from Honolulu to New York City. It happens to fall under the radar of those closest to him.

Arguably weirder than someone like Robert Ford (see The Assassination of Jesse James), Chapman's narration signifies a presence of someone desiring the exposure of such a highly regarded celebrity. As intense as Ball is in creating a creepy, unsympathetic figure, the result is hardly of the quality demonstrated by Charlize Theron in Monster.

There's more beyond the detail of the homicide, but the characterization and narrative drive lack the insight and effect that one (even with passing knowledge of the event) might expect. However, where The Killing of John Lennon passes muster is in the aura Piddington brings out in the Big Apple with a still photographer's eye into the mundane life of taxis and motels of a person who carried out a florid idea of an antihero.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Killing of John Lennon           C+            C+ 

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