Simon Pegg returns to indie roots with Kill Me Three Times

Simon Pegg in Kill Me Three Times. Courtesy Magnet Releasing
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British comic-turned-Hollywood-heavyweight Simon Pegg returns to his indie roots with the new Australian black comedy Kill Me Three Times.

Pegg has transformed in recent years from cult hero to fans of British horror/sci fi/comedy as the star of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and The World's End to Hollywood A-lister thanks to appearances in the likes of Mission Impossible IV and Star Trek – set to shoot a new instalment this year - as well fuelling rumours about what he's been doing on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens set.

Kill Me Three Times, however, is an enjoyable, low-budget, Australian hitman caper that has him playing for laughs once again. Pegg portrays the foul-mouthed, ruthless assassin Charlie Wolfe, who is employed to make Alice, the unfaithful wife of bar owner Sam (Alice Braga and Steve Le Marquand respectively) "disappear". What starts out as a run of the mill job soon takes a turn for the farcical, however, as it transpires that Wolfe isn't the only one who wants Alice dead. A litany of fake life insurance claims, gambling debts, crooked police officers, jealous lovers and blackmail ensues and Wolfe finds himself at the centre of a dizzyingly bizarre small town community intent on causing chaos.

It's an enjoyable romp. The script is unlikely to win any awards for originality, and the concept will be familiar to anyone who's watched crime/comedy crossovers such as Grosse Point Blank or A Fish Called Wanda. Equally, Pegg is unlikely to pick up any Oscars for the breadth of his acting range. It's both a blessing and a curse for the comedian that to many British viewers of his generation he will forever be Tim Bisley, the Star Wars-loving, comic book-drawing, geeky lead in his TV breakout Spaced. Even when he dons the iconic Star Trek uniform, I can't help expecting his Spaced flatmate Daisy (Jessica Hynes) to bogle her way into the transporter.

Nonetheless, the movie is eminently entertaining with plenty of genuine laugh-out-loud moments, some nice nods to Tarantino and the spaghetti western and lashings of comic-book gore, and well worth a look on a weekend that seems to be on an intentional big release break in anticipation of the imminent The Avengers: Age of Ultron.