Killing Season (2013) Poster

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Two acting heavyweights and an interesting story that squanders its potential in the dumbest possible ways.
lnvicta18 March 2016
I was expecting to despise this movie. I only watched it because I was in the mood to see a bad De Niro movie, so the one where he's opposite Travolta playing a Serbian seemed to fit the criteria perfectly. But I was actually on board for the first 15 or so minutes of Killing Season. De Niro's character is off in a cabin isolated from his family and still recovering from the effects the Bosnian war had on him however many years ago, and Travolta's character is out for vengeance because he was left for dead in the same war on the opposing side. It's a simple enough premise. And there's one interesting scene where De Niro and Travolta are drinking and sharing war stories where you actually feel some tension but mutual respect building between them. Kind of like Pacino and De Niro in Heat (a blasphemous comparison but it's the first thing that came to mind). Anyway, I wanted more of that.

But as soon as that's over, the movie turns into a cat-and-mouse game between the two of them that consists of one of them getting captured and tortured, then they somehow escape and the chase continues until the other guy gets captured and tortured, then they somehow escape and the cycle continues. It's just dumb and predictable. And let's talk about the accents for a minute. Travolta doesn't even have a bad accent. Mind you I don't know how authentic of a Serbian accent it is, but the accent itself is convincing enough. The problem is that he uses the same intonation for everything he says. At one point he's literally shot in the f*cking face and the next minute he's talking in exactly the same tone as before. And De Niro does this southern accent that drifts in and out, and you can tell he's just there for a paycheck because he's not even trying to pull it off convincingly. Hell it was more believable in Machete. And the special effects, holy god they're awful. They'll randomly cut to a close up of a wound and it just looks terrible. It's gratuitous, and I don't mind gratuity all that much but when you can clearly tell something is CGI, there's no excuse for that to make it in the final cut. It's unnecessary, it looks like crap, get it out of there.

So yeah, I ended up disliking the movie but not for the reasons I was expecting. Travolta's accent wasn't the worst part of the movie like I thought it'd be. The story was quite interesting but it gets resolved in the most half-assed way, like there's absolutely no pathos when there so easily could have been seeing as how it's about two opposing war vets encountering each other after all this time. I mean, it's not a terrible movie. It really isn't. De Niro has had much worse, so has Travolta. But there are glimpses of potential all over this movie that get squandered in the dumbest possible ways, and that itself makes Killing Season a frustrating watch.
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A movie that could have been very good
laserburn15 July 2013
For starters, the movie gets absolutely everything wrong about events of the Bosnian war, but since such ignorance is expected from Hollywood, there is no reason to hold it against this particular title.

The premise of the movie is good, the basic story is decent, but the script could have been better written, the two main characters' stories never get satisfyingly developed. If this was directed by John McTiernan as originally planned, this would have been a great movie. Sadly, instead we got the guy who did Daredevil and he once again delivered a bland, uninspiring product. Acting is OK, Travolta did his best to hold a consistent accent (it was the wrong accent, but hey!) throughout the movie, while DeNiro looked more like he was only concerned with the paycheck.

All in all, the movie is not terrible, I guess it wouldn't kill you to watch it if you have nothing better to do for an hour and a half. The sad part is that this could have been a much, much better movie, perhaps even a classic.
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Retarded from beginning to end. An absolute stinker. Do not watch.
mwburrows13 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Where to start? Don't second-guess yourself: it's been panned for a reason. It is an ugly, pointless potboiler lacking in brains, charisma and even the slightest hint of excitement. What follows is one and a half hours of very crude torture scenes, mock character development, Macgyver-like scenarios of escape and an abundance of completely unnecessary CGI effects.

It just reeks of "cut and dry". Obviously it was too much effort to spend time on practical special effects so the director just found a cheap CGI company to scribble in the animals, the weapon effects, the squibs, the sunsets, the lighting, and anything else he can think of. Poor direction. Frankly I would think after such long and successful careers that Travolta and De Niro were beneath such roles.

Travolta, as always, brings a kind of raw energy to his role and immerses himself in his character, even if his accent is off he never winks to the audience and does his best to do his job to a good standard. De Niro, however, is out of his element here, with a slipping southern accent that wasn't necessary. He feigns injury like Pierce Brosnan (poorly). Even when threading a metal cable through the exposed wound in his leg he is not convincing.

After a poorly conceived prologue, a taut first act will draw you in, but unfortunately it all goes downhill from there. The sheer excess of symbolism and foreshadowing is a clumsy misfire. Macgyver scenarios pile up quickly and the action climax will have you practically laughing at how stupid it is. Seriously. Don't pay to watch this crap.
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One of the worst movies I've ever watched
WillWong10115 July 2013
This movie seems like it was written and directed by a couple of 12-year old boys. It's an awful pile of steaming cheese.

What was De Niro thinking? Travolta doesn't surprise me - he has a knack for picking stinkers.

It was excruciating from start to finish - filled with clichés, bad acting, ridiculous fight scenes, laughable plot, Travolta droning on in some pseudo-Serbian accent, and old man De Niro hobbling through the forest. Not sure how it could have been any worse.

Do not pay money to see this movie. In fact, just don't watch it at all. Life is too short to waste on this kind of dung.
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Everything here is bullshit!
drakesh716 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
At one point in the movie, the two male leads are sitting and drinking in the cabin and DeNiro's character says to Travolta's: "Everything here is bullshit, bullshit house, bullshit car, bullshit fiber-glass bow". He forgot to include the movie as well. He should have also added: "But the biggest bullshit of all is your wonderful Serbian accent". I don't understand how DeNiro could keep a straight face listening to Travolta's accent throughout the movie. Why is DeNiro even in the movie? Maybe the Serbians should give Travolta an honorary citizenship and invite him to live in Serbia and give him elocution lessons.
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bojanran17 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Vote 2 (only because of De Niro)

De Niro : Good as always Travolta : Love him due prior work, but...Mediocre. As half Serbian i didn't understand a word he saying. He had some heavy Russian accent. Historical events : Totally ignorant. Scenario : American soldiers from open ground shooting at close distance to Serbian soldiers, which are behind some concrete wall. None dies...Hmm, OK. Travolta with heavy Russian accent, wearing beard as Bosnian Muslim enter some kind of bar, he's starting conversation on language i can not understand. The writing on the wall in broken Serbian language "slivovica" (which should be local brandy) i mean...really! I'll stop here, it doesn't deserve more of my attention. Camera, lighting, scenery ..etc, excellent but but that's it.

Overall : If you don't care about historical events or if you don't care of authenticity of actors and what or who they represent, you would have cheap entertainment and movie to forget within a day.
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total anti-Serbian propaganda
srdjan_fon16 July 2013
historically incorrect! naive and just stupid! But corresponds to an uneducated American public!


acting is good (6/10) actors are great (10/10) but obviously not read the script before accepting the role

If you like a bit of action and a lot of stupid torture scenes then this is the movie for you.

Time spent watching this film better use to learn something in life.

I hope that I have fulfilled the required ten lines of text, which is much more than this movie deserves
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Truly awful
markmcfadyen13 July 2013
This could have been so much better. As the old saying goes it started off crap and then fell away to f*"*.

Good first 20 minutes which showed true promise, then Hollywood kicked in!

I'm struggling to find some positives, apart from Robert DE Niro's in it. Travolta I though was good, unfortunately this seems to be a take the money and run move.

I don't want to give too much away as hopefully you'll avoid it and I'm just writing any old crap to achieve the minimum 10 lines for IMDb.

Best avoided.
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Awful Thriller with Shallow and Shameful Story of Revenge
claudio_carvalho19 October 2013
In 1995, a UN platoon executes a group of Serbian Soldiers. In the present days, in Belgrade, the Serbian Emil Kovac (John Travolta) that survived to the execution eighteen years before, gets information about his executioner Benjamin Ford (Robert De Niro) and travels to the remote Appalachian Mountain, where Benjamin lives alone, to revenge. Emil meets Benjamin in the beginning of a cat-and-mouse game.

"Killing Season" is an awful thriller with shallow and shameful story of revenge. It is unbelievable that a man, traumatized by the cruelties of the war, waits for eighteen years to revenge; pays money for the information of his executioner; travels from Belgrade, in Serbia, to a remote area in the United States of America to kill the man; and after a few minutes talking, they almost become friends. Actually I was expecting that the executioner would invite him to a barbecue in family or to drink a beer. Maybe this drama is the further that Hollywood writers might expect from a traumatized man. The decadent Robert De Niro and John Travolta should consider the retirement or change agent to get better scripts to not compromise their brilliant filmographies. My vote is one (awful).

Title (Brazil): "Temporada de Caça" ("Hunting Season")
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historically incorrect
dusan_lisov16 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
worst first 3 introduction minutes in movie EVER!

Serbian army? what Serbian army,it's Yugoslavian army (JNA) it was ONE army for ONE country,YUGOSLAVIA!

Bosnia? Bosnia was not a country at that time,it was a part of Yugoslavia along with Serbia,Croatia,Macedonia,Slovenia and Montenegro.

in the name of genocide? this is a joke,right? it got to be..

Emil Kovac,Serbian name? Emil is more like Muslim name,and Kovac Croatian surname..

interesting beard Travolta (Emil)has.. it's Muslim beard..Serbs don't wear beard like that.

Serbs were shown like some kind of terrorist..dear god..

that prison camp in beginning were are all those starved prisoners,are we talking about SREBRENICA here? couse it got to be srebrenica..

American and NATO landing party,fighting GROUND force? really? another BIG joke.. there was bombarding,air strikes..

so many incorrect informations are shown in this movie in such a short time which can and WILL delude people to believe in.

war was everybody's fault,Serbs,Muslims,Croats,Slovenian etc.. neighbors and good friends were fighting each other in their own backyards and towns.war crimes were committed by everybody..

stop making historically incorrect movies about CIVIL WAR on Balkan, writers and authors,please read a little about something you are about to show. educate yourselves.

let us watch some astonishing movie about those events,let us be amaze with right and good info.educate people through it,do not trick them with lies and false "facts"

sorry for bad English..
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Another one...
Bugeera17 July 2013
And here comes another one from Hollywood. I ll be short because its mine first review.

Plot mistake - "one American and one Serbian" OK lets see about this - on poster there are 2 guys,main actors. So probably plot is about them,because Deniro's name is American i presume that Travolta is acting that Serb guy. So lets get a little attention on that EMIL KOVAČ As far as i remember Emil is so common Muslim name and Kovač is also more commoner Croatian surname. Where the heck do you see Serbian there. The more funnier thing is that this is movie about Bosnian war LOL

Like some croatio-bosnian will fight for Serbs ,yea right.

I am aware that Hollywood is not History channel,but come on...get some facts at least for maincharacter names.
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To far they live to know what happened
duckrogers00714 July 2013
One star for Travolta and De Niro in film, without them i would give a movie a null, void, nothing, empty space. So its two.

Lets talk about history. Every side has its own history, and maybe in 50 years we will as collective see the truth. But now I see a lot of people here talking about what happened and defending them self's. Why? They missed the point of the movie, that war is over....(third star) Now its three stars.

In basic its history repeating it self over and over, and not learning it and knowing the through we make mistakes all over again.

Sorry guys I'm from Croatia, I always lived here, and a lot of my good neighbors were Serbs that defended their homes against not so good neighbors which had informations and one day just started the war, in their back yards, in their town, against their neighbors. Thats just insane.

My home town had survived some heavy stuff, i could say that attack on police precinct was just as film from 70's.

But my god, please, let just put it all a side, and say that it was insanity, lets be friends, and move that joke De Niro told at the end.

Acting OK, as if i doubt it with those two. script heavy crap, Locations beautiful. Hollywood two thumbs down for this one.
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Not their best work... Not their worst work either...
brcastle200012 July 2013
I had read some reviews before seeing "Killing Season" so I didn't have too high of expectations going in. That being said, I wasn't disappointed. DeNiro and Travolta give average performances, which aren't helped at all by the accents they try to use during the film. Travolta's is painful, the worst part is, someone, somewhere along the line had to tell him it sounded good. DeNiro's southern drawl is nowhere near as bad, but it seems to come and go at different times in the movie, becoming more or less noticeable. KS starts out a little slow but picks up about 1/3 of the way in and keeps a decent pace. The plot is solid, but IMO the script writer didn't hold up his end of the bargain. Either that or Travolta and DeNiro were basically going through the motions with their main motivation seeming like the paycheck they got after the last day of shooting. All in all, the movie is entertaining, if only mildly at some points. It definitely will not win any awards, but it will help you to kill two hours. SKIP THE THEATER, RENT IT
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Not mind blowing but a solidly entertaining flick and nowhere near as bad as the reviews
Robert_duder16 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I admit I was excited seeing this but I was also very wary. Robert Deniro is a legend and I often like John Travolta too in certain roles so the potential of them together in a survival/action/horror was intriguing but straight to flag right there!! The reviews for this film were awful and most of them were so angry that the film was so historically and politically inaccurate and I will fully admit ignorance on the matters of Bosnia and Serbia and the entire war and conflict going on there so for me it wasn't about what facts were right or wrong. I had no choice but to watch this for entertainment. It was twisted and disturbing and violent and had a really graphic message about morality and war that I think made the film had at least some depth and complexity. This was NOT a bad film whatsoever. It wasn't done perfectly that's for sure and it had some ups and downs but it was a solid action/horror/thriller. It was really the perfect length because you could only watch the power shift between the two actors so many times before it started to feel just a little stale but the action scenes were well done and the script was very good.

Robert DeNiro could probably make almost any film good. I actually think he's hit a stride now even in his senior years because the guy is just electric on screen. Both of the main characters in this film are incredibly flawed and twisted men for various reasons. Neither is truly the hero. DeNiro scenes are terrific especially his speech at the end of the film which was moving and powerful. It seems a lot of reviewers are really hating on John Travolta and to each their own but he's a versatile actor who has had a lot of ups and downs. I think his performance in this film was solid. His accent seems really awful at times but I don't know the dialect from that area so I don't know if he really nails it or if its horribly done. The character is still captivating and determined and him and DeNiro actually have really great chemistry together which certainly helps the film. With any two lesser actors this could have been far less interesting but the two of them are great and I'm standing by that!!

I do agree that a much more talented director might have added some serious depth to the film. Mark Steven Johnson is a mainstream director who likes to slap things together if you go by Daredevil or Ghost Rider although Simon Birch was a brilliant film based on a brilliant book. I think he loves his action scenes and sometimes forgets that the story is important too. The ending of the film is almost a little too neat and tidy and yet at the same time I liked how it ended as well. I think just a little more to it and it could have been far more effective. The special effects in the film (in particular the scenes where Travolta and DeNiro's face are super imposed on younger bodies to show scenes from the past) were really done awful and lowered the standard of the film. But the fight scenes are some truly grotesque scenes of torture were very effective. There was a lot of potential behind this movie but in my books they didn't screw it up entirely and I enjoyed it for what it was. Basically I suppose I enjoyed it for watching two Hollywood icons duke it out in a low budget film but it worked. IMDb reviewers are WAY too hard on this one!! 7/10
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Idiots, its a story. It's not freaking fast and the furious!
Buterfli100815 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
These actors portrayed the men that the script was written for. De Niro acted like a man who lives in the woods alone and likes country music and as far as Travoltas accent sounds like a man who has tried to speak English as a Serbian the best he can. The guy probably didn't have a great education and that's how he is supposed to sound. Movies aren't supposed to be an adrenaline rush all the time. Its a story about something that could have actually happened. People aren't perfect maybe the things that they did were on purpose. Use your brain! My husband served in the military and served with men from Bosnia and that's how they sound. Its a good movie. Not every story has to end in someone dying.
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More or less everything about this movie SUCKS..!!
prince_dilawar17 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I would not call it a total waste of time, but if you are a De Niro fan and have time to kill, you would not be totally disappointed. Not to mention Travolta has been doing cr@p movies for a while now, this is undoubtedly an addition to one of those. The plot is absolutely ridiculous, not even for a single second you do not realize during the movie that this can happen in real life. I would recommend that if you have anything else to watch, you should definitely skip it. Or you can do yourself a dare, keep a stop watch in you hand see how long you can watch this before uttering the word BS. Very boring and predictable, you kinda feel getting dragged for nothing.
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Good movie with universal anti-war message
jeremiah591 October 2013
Good movie with very good performance by Robert De Niro and diabolical and wicked appearance by John Travolta. Filmed on beautiful locations in Tallulah Gorge State Park and Black Rock Mountain State Park. The movie borrows ideas from "Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Deliverance" (1972), even from the western "Run of the Arrow" (1957).

Basically, it's an anti-war movie, with interesting psychological study of impact of war on warriors involved in a combat, here shown from a prospective of two enemies who continue their personal war, long after it ended.

The project was originally set in the 1970s and titled Shrapnel. It was later decided to be put in a modern warfare, the one in Bosnia. So, the movie brings universal message which could be applied to any war and war veterans.

Do not be fooled about all the negative comments here, because those come from people who do not want to understand the message of the movie. Most of those comments are really hilarious, claiming that the movie is not historically accurate, trying to explain the war in Bosnia from their prospective, forgetting the fact that the film makers never claimed it has been based on a true story, and in fact it is not.
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Worst Film of the Year
Dourankev13 July 2013
Worst movie of the year! This action is worthy of the 80s of the twentieth century, but not for the twenty-first century. The saddest part is that the story is fictional bad from start to finish. Even more sad is that two great actors have agreed to sell for a few dollars more. From bad to worse. Who watches this film loses 1.5 hours, which could be used for reading a good book or conversation in the company of friends. Disgust is largely because the film until recently was an art now increasingly becoming a cash machine without much thought. Still, it is suitable for people without much intellectual effort, like fast food, quick thinking and rapid results. As a side dish - the film flowing much ketchup (blood), plenty of pretty scenes. Farewell to the illusions of the "great" cinema "great" actors for the American "dream." Do not waste time and money, run away from this movie!
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Be kind rewind
petra_ste12 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Essentially a lesser version of William Friedkin's The Hunted - which is a bit like saying "a smaller rodent than a mole" - Killing Season swings back and forth like an argument between drunkards. Travolta (sporting a sinister beard which makes him look like a diabolical Abraham Lincoln) captures De Niro; then De Niro frees himself and captures Travolta; then Travolta frees himself and... repeat ad nauseam for 90 minutes.

How do you keep a story focusing on just two characters in a single location compelling and varied? The answer is, unless you are an extremely skilled scriptwriter (say, Sleuth's Anthony Shaffer), you don't. Silliness and out-of-character moments aside - why would De Niro's veteran, haunted by the violence in his past, pour lemonade on his enemy's wounds rather than call the cops? - what kills the movie is this sense of dull, mechanical repetition.

The already mentioned Sleuth offers clues on how this could have been handled: keep Travolta's motivation (revenge for nearly killing him during the Bosnian War) a mystery for a while, and have him behave in an increasingly creepy manner while slowly unraveling his secret. Killing Season tips its hand in the first five minutes, and as a consequence the whole structure collapses.

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Simply bad
Bunk79 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Directed by Mark Steven Johnson, the same guy who brought us Ghost rider and Daredevil, comes a new revenge film that features two Bosnian war veterans going head to head. Robert De Niro as Benjamin Ford a former u.s. soldier whose war experience have led him to hide from the world in a remote cabin and John Travolta as Emil Kovac a Serbian soldier who survived his execution and is 18 years later obsessed with getting revenge. (strictly talking they are both war criminals as one worked in a concentration camp and the other tried to kill him without trial after capturing him.)

The movie starts with some simplifications about the Bosnian war that will no doubt enrage the Serbian audience in a no lesser degree as Travoltas ridiculous Serbian pronunciation and his eastern European accent that follows. But they should probably be used of it as Hollywood is full of simplified (enter eastern European, Asian, Arab ethnic group here) bad guys.

But the so called real action of the movie starts Deep in the Appalachian Mountains, where aforementioned reclusive American military veteran and a »european tourist« strike up an unlikely friendship. After playing nice for a bit and deciding to go hunting the next day Emils thru intentions are reveled. What follows should be an epic battle in the mountains, but what it really amounts to is nothing but a few brutal torture scenes and a mouse and cat game that gets more and more ridiculous as it goes on, never really generating any real suspense. In the end The resolution of the conflict perhaps does come as a bit of a surprise as they decide to give it a rest and live in peace. (holdin' a grudge for 18 years, then saying aaa f**k it, I'm going home seems legit ;))

Its a shame to see such an epic show down go to waste but Killing season doesn't really know what sort of movie does it want to be. It wants to be a war is hell »coming of age« story, but it ends up playing like a cheap action flick, field with clichés and bad dialects multiplied with the fact that the two actors seem to be over their prime and are paired in this movie for the sole reason of mustering some revenue.
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jacklam559 September 2013
I guess this is what it was like (or in some cases still is) when Chinese was spoken in Cantonese, or maybe a Mandarin speaker would speak to a Cantonese guy (and they'd be brothers), or one guy could be speaking gibberish to another guy that would be passed off as Chinese. Wonderful stuff. I guess this is what Serbians would feel after listening to Travolta's accent. Even to me, it sounded like a generic middle easter/Arabic accent. He could have put on some Arabic clothing and acted as a sheik for his acting talents.

Like others said, this started out fairly decent, then quickly went off the deep end. Still worth a 2 star though, at least for the cast.
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Bobby needed the Cash, Travolta as well, Watch Something else!
a-droushiotis13 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
What an absolute waist of energy and money! To star with, The country referred to, WAS NOT EXISTING AT THE TIME! It is very impolite and not respectful to say the least-Hollywood people- to talk about countries (real people live there you know) in another continent, without the consultation of an expert Historian. Serbs are Christians orthodox, the beard is not something you see in Serbia,therefore the appearance of one of the main characters, (resembles more to a Taliban fundamentalist with jeans) in the film, was absolutely ridiculous and irrelevant. The accent was all wrong according to ...real Serbs, the acting boring and overall this film very bad!! I lost my faith on Mr.Bobby De Niro... seriously a guy with his fame and fortune really needs to seek for help, and really read a history book or two before accepting a silly character in a film of Historical ignorance! The film, was not a thriller nor anything else but a demonstration of an hour and a half of plain torturing skills by both actors. If you have something else to it. This film is pure Cr@p!!
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JT Most Funniest Role to Date
varsania9 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is a highly enjoyable film. JT steals the show with his excellent comedic portrayal of a Croat I think, or Bosnian, or Serb, I can never tell which is which. However, his character is absolutely hilarious. His look, his back painted on hair and beard, his hilarious accent, his script ("It's that shooting pain in your right leg again!" De Niro's shooting pain in his right leg is a running joke throughout this film), just made me laugh whenever I saw him, and heard him speak. The scene in the old abandoned church was the best. It had me in stitches for ages.

In closing, I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to enjoy a good 90mins of JT being incredibly funny.
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Just Opinion
the_white_heart9111 August 2013
I consider this movie is a dead movie, what's the hell is that, is this even a movie!! with all respect to the actors but this film is really awful. Travolta was horrible with the way he talks with this accent, the way he reacts and fight is this even a fight for god sake. and De Nero isn't good enough for this role. the best thing in this movie is it has Milo Ventimiglia but only in three scenes that's not enough to bring life to the film. the movie is very bad i consider it on of the worst movies i have ever seen, the acting was bad, the story is old and not good. so i suggest if you didn't see this yet don't do the same mistake i did and waste your time.
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Movie or postcard ?
ak-738-18952814 July 2013
So now i am sorry that i did not read the reviews first. The movie is a disappointment. I did not liked Travolta accent and look, this is not like an Serbian soldiers look like, not at all, you could tell it from 5 blocks away that this guy is American, anyway, if you wanna break your TV or laptop or you wanna beat the guy in the movie theater (you know, the guy at the ticketing) you are my guest to watch this movie.

And what can i say about the story... it is a little bit cheap.

The final act, yeah, it was like: "this is a beginning of a beautiful friendship"

Yeah, nice pictures in the nature, but hey, they sold me a movie not a postcard!
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