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Killing Gunther

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Killing Gunther

Theatrical release poster

Directed by Taran Killam

 Taran Killam
Produced by
 Kim Leadford
 Ash Sarohia
 Steve Squillante

Written by Taran Killam

Starring  Taran Killam


 Bobby Moynihan
 Hannah Simone
 Cobie Smulders
 Arnold Schwarzenegger

Music by Dino Meneghin

Cinematography Blake McClure

Edited by Adam Epstein


Production  MadRiver Pictures
companies
 StarStream Media

Distributed by Saban Films

Release date  October 20, 2017 (United States)

Running time 93 minutes

Country United States

Language English

Killing Gunther is an American action comedy film written and directed by Taran Killam, in his
directorial debut. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the titular Gunther alongside Killam, Cobie
Smulders, and Bobby Moynihan. It was released on video on demand on September 22, 2017,
before being given a limited theatrical release on October 20, 2017 by Saban Films.

Contents
[hide]

 1Plot
 2Cast
 3Production
 4Release
o 4.1Critical response
 5References
 6External links

Plot[edit]
In early 2016, Blake, a somewhat eccentric yet effective hitman, decides to become more
famous by killing the world's greatest hitman, Gunther. For that he hires a documentary crew to
have video proof that he did it and document the process. He also puts together what he
describes as an "unstoppable team" composed of his friend Donnie, a former miner skilled with
the use of explosives, Sanaa, the daughter of a legendary hitman Rahmat Fairouza, nicknamed
"the nightmare", who is overenthusiastic in his support for his daughter's career, Gabe, an
unexperienced technology expert, and Ashley, Blake's elderly and sickly mentor. As Ashley
explains to the documentary crew that he is in it because Gunther betrayed him, he has a heart
attack and the team is left incomplete.
In order to fill in for Ashley, Blake hires Izzat, a former Islamist extremist-turned-hitman with an
extremely strong robotic arm who wants to build a reputation for himself. They also hire Yong, a
poison obsessed killer who wants revenge from Gunther for killing his pet snake, and the
psychotic twins Mia and Barold Bellakalakova who decide to join the group in a "workation", and
they are also joined by Max, Blake's former partner who was also trained by Ashley. The group
gathers in a warehouse so they can attempt to track down Gunther. Max reveals that he knows
where Gunther lives and has the location on a flash drive, however, before he can tell the group,
Gunther ambushes them with a sniper rifle, shooting Max's flash drive before killing him and then
firing a rocket launcher at the group before disappearing.
As Blake mourns Max's loss, it is revealed that his real motivation to kill Gunther is that his ex,
Lisa, slept with Gunther prior to breaking up with him due to them growing distant. The group
learns that Ashley has been cleared to leave the hospital and Blake, Sanaa and Gabe go pick
him up, but he has another heart attack seconds after leaving the hospital, forcing him to return.
The team stocks on weaponry from an eccentric arms dealer and moves on to plan B. They set
up a fake hit and keep surveillance on the target. 12 days later, Gunther shows up and invades
the building in which the target is, but they fail to reach Gunther before he kills the target and end
up fighting him inside the building. During a hand to hand fight with Izzat, Gunther chokes him
with his own robotic hand (which frequently clenches due to its running out of battery), however,
Sanaa manages to shoot Gunther in the leg and is saved from being shot in return by Donnie
who pushes her out of the way.
The group return to their safe house and review the footage from the documentary crew and are
shocked to learn that Gunther was wearing a mask identical to Blake's face. Yong tells them that
he's got a tip that someone with a leg wound has been looking for treatment by a local
underground doctor, the group deduces that it must be Gunther and goes to the doctor's place
and surrounds it. Donnie plants a bomb in Gunther's car and attempts to detonate it, however,
the bomb apparently fails and every car around them explodes, except the one which Donnie
rigged to explode. As they go to check it, Yong discovers that the trunk is full of poisonous
snakes; mesmerized, he doesn't react until one bites him in the neck, causing him to remark "is
this what poison feels like? It sucks..." before dying. Another car quickly comes to pick Gunther
up, however, shortly after Gunther enters the car, Sanaa shoots the driver, causing it to crash.
The team then unloads their weapons into the car before Donnie tosses a grenade inside it.
Upon confirming that there were two bodies, they go out to celebrate and Sanaa and Donnie
spend the night together.
Blake is awakened in the middle of the night by Rahmat chasing Donnie while threatening to kill
him with a pistol for sleeping with his daughter, claiming that Blake texted him. Blake, realizing it
must have been Gunther, goes to check on the Bellakalakova twins only to find them dead.
Donnie leaves the group to hide from Rahmat and Sanaa follows them, attempting to stop her
father. Blake, along with only the documentary crew and Gabe, decides to go back to his
apartment, only to find it under surveillance by the FBI. They decide to lay low at Gabe's
cramped apartment, where Blake is contacted by Donnie, who is in disguise due to running away
from Rahmat. Donnie calls out Blake for not doing everything he could in order to find Gunther
(such as interrogating his ex) and says that he wants to quit the killer business to be with Sanaa.
Blake then goes to Lisa's house and delivers all the letters he had written her while he was away,
and he also reveals that he kept his distance because he was afraid that someone would hurt her
to get to him. Blake then receives a call from the hospital saying that Ashley is healthy enough to
leave. He picks up Ashley, only for him to suddenly die of a heart attack.
At Ashley's funeral, Blake delivers his eulogy and is ineffectively consoled by Gabe. Donnie
appears to show his sympathies but Rahmat finds him and is about to kill him when Sanaa
reveals that she is pregnant. Before Donnie can say anything a bomb explodes in Ashley's grave
sending his tombstone flying towards Gabe's head, crushing it. Blake sobs and declares that
while Gabe was "completely useless" he stuck with him until the end.
Lisa finds Blake and gives him Gunther's home address. He gathers weaponry and prepares to
storm the house by himself, initially managing to get in without resistance. Blake soon finds
himself in a shootout with Gunther, only to be assisted by Sanaa and Donnie who show up
suddenly. They chase Gunther into a room where he reveals himself to them and tells them that
he too has been making a documentary about his trying to kill them.
Gunther chides them for not working hard to achieve their reputation saying that while he had to
do it "the old fashioned way," they just want a shortcut by killing him. He then claims not to be
mad at them and gives the group a chance to leave. Donnie and Sanaa decide to leave the
house while Gunther attempts to keep talking down Blake, even apologizing for sleeping with
Lisa. However, upon realizing that Blake still wants to kill him, he reveals that he kidnapped Lisa
and says that if Blake kills him, his camera crew will kill Lisa.
Lisa hits Gunther, momentarily distracting him and giving Blake enough time to kill his
henchmen. Lisa escapes while Blake and Gunther fight. Blake is hopelessly outmatched as
Gunther simply beats him down with ease, however, before he can finish Blake off, the police
arrive and Gunther disappears while Blake grabs a weapon to shoot him.
The film cuts to a year later when it's revealed that Donnie and Sanaa are happily married and
have a daughter, Donnie having earned Rahmat's respect by converting to Islam after a number
of death threats by Rahmat (although he claims it was his own choice). Lisa has married
someone else and Blake has disappeared. Gunther is revealed to have retired and is back living
in his native Austria where he set up a gardening community for his town's elderly and
rediscovered his love for country music. In the middle of the interview with the documentary
crew, he is suddenly shot by a deranged and unkempt Blake who celebrates finally having
murdered Gunther. However, he realizes that Gunther is wearing a bomb vest with a dead man's
switch, and the bomb goes off, killing him.
Later in an interview with the Austrian authorities, it is revealed that Gunther is somehow still
alive and disguised as a reporter.

Cast[edit]
 Arnold Schwarzenegger as Gunther
 Taran Killam as Blake
 Bobby Moynihan as Donnie
 Hannah Simone as Sanaa
 Peter Kelamis as Rahmat
 Aaron Yoo as Yong
 Paul Brittain as Gabe
 Amir Talai as Izzat
 Ryan Gaul as Barold
 Allison Tolman as Mia
 Cobie Smulders as Lisa

Production[edit]
The film was first announced during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, originally under the title
of Why We're Killing Gunther. The film is written and directed by Taran Killam, marking his
directorial debut. It was announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger would star as Gunther,
with Cobie Smulders, Bobby Moynihan, Paul Brittain, Kumail Nanjiani, Randall Park, and Ryan
Gaul cast as well, and filming was expected to begin in June 2016.[1][2] Tatiana Maslany was in
negotiations to star in the film but due to scheduling conflicts declined the role.[3]
Filming began in Vancouver, British Columbia in July 2016.[4]
Saban Films acquired the rights to the film, now simply titled Killing Gunther, with a scheduled
release date for October 20, 2017.[5][6]

Release[edit]
Killing Gunther was released on video on demand on September 22, 2017, before a limited
theatrical release on October 20, 2017, by Saban Films.[7]
Critical response[edit]
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 58% based on
19 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10.[8]

References[edit]
1. Jump up^ Pedersen, Erik (May 3, 2016). "Arnold
Schwarzenegger Is Target In 'Why We're Killing
Gunther'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media.
Retrieved March 21, 2018.
2. Jump up^ McNary, Dave (May 3, 2016). "Cannes: Arnold
Schwarzenegger Joins Comedy 'Why We're Killing
Gunther'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March
21, 2018.
3. Jump up^ Siegel, Tatiana; Ford, Rebecca (May 10,
2016). "Cannes: Tatiana Maslany Falls Out of 'Why We're Killing
Gunther' Over Date Conflict". The Hollywood Reporter.
Retrieved March 21, 2018.
4. Jump up^ Brown, Scott (July 29, 2016). "Idina Menzel filming
Beaches remake in Vancouver". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia
Network. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
5. Jump up^ Hipes, Patrick (July 7, 2017). "Taran Killam & Arnold
Schwarzenegger's 'Killing Gunther' Acquired By Saban
Films". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media.
Retrieved March 21, 2018.
6. Jump up^ @TaranKillam (July 7, 2017). "Very excited to
announce my 1st directing effort will be out in the world October
20th!!!!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
7. Jump up^ King, Danny (18 October 2017). "Tracking Shots: This
Week in Film". Village Voice. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
8. Jump up^ "Killing Gunther (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango
Media. Retrieved March 21, 2018.

External links[edit]
 Killing Gunther on IMDb
Categories:
 2017 films
 English-language films
 American films
 American action films
 American comedy films
 Directorial debut films
 Action comedy films
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