Bill Skarsgård Movie Before The Crow Is Ultra Violent. What The Critics Are Saying About Boy Kills World

 A bloddied Bill Skarsgard looking off to the side in Boy Kills World.
A bloddied Bill Skarsgard looking off to the side in Boy Kills World.

Alongside Zendaya's acclaimed Challengers now in theaters, Bill Skarsgård has moved out of the shadows from horror roles in the IT movies and Barbarian to star in a verified action film with Boy Kills World. As the latest of the 2024 movie releases hits cinemas, the critics have weighed in on Boy Kills World. Let’s dive into what they are saying about it before the actor leads the next The Crow movie.

We’ll start with CinemaBlend’s Boy Kills World review, which has our own Mike Reyes giving the R-rated action comedy two out of five stars. While Reyes was initially intrigued by the set up that draws from classic side-scrolling “man on a mission” video games, he was disappointed by the execution. In his words:

And yet, despite a formula that values simplicity and adrenaline-fueled momentum, Boy Kills World hits a crucial wall pretty early on, and never fully recovers. Even as the action ramps up, and the bloody body count rises, we the audience don’t truly feel that forward movement. What ensues is a lot of sound and a lot of fury, but not an ounce of cohesion.

While he found the action sequences to be “somewhat fun,” the stunt performers couldn’t make up for the poor storyline in his opinion. Empire’s Sophie Butcher felt similarly about Boy Kills World, giving the movie the same star-rating and calling it a “headache-inducing imitation of the revenge thriller” and simply not on par with the John Wick movies.  As she continued:

Amongst a smorgasbord of clear influences — from The Hunger Games to Tarantino — the language of video games is the most prominent, threaded through everything from the plot, to the visuals, to the colourful, exaggerated character design. But in its pursuit to feel more like a game, Boy Kills World fails to deliver the depth and dimension it needs to really work as a movie.

While The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis gave some major props to the stunt crew on Boy Kills World, she found the movie itself to be “boneheaded,” along with finding that the “clumsy filmmaking” ultimately “undermines its stunts.” As she also wrote:

I’m not sure what the director Moritz Mohr thought he was doing here. (Sam Raimi is one of the producers.) It’s also unclear why anyone even bothered to concoct a story for Boy, because the only point of this ridiculousness is to watch Skarsgard flex his sculpted arms and take a great deal of brutal punishment so that he can dole out more. Rinse, repeat.

Roger Ebert’s Simon Abrams agreed with the general thoughts of his critic colleagues. Here’s his take:

These action scenes resemble the same antic slow-fast-slow pace of the Kingsman spy movie parodies and this year’s Argylle. In these braindead media critiques, so much pseudo-comic stress is put on sweeping camera movements and impact-driven maneuvering that it reduces everything funny, upsetting, and spectacular about these scenes to its sheer numbing impact. You don’t get to enjoy any of the on-screen action’s flow or development because the filmmakers constantly insert themselves between you and whatever cheap thrills you might’ve hoped to enjoy.

Mashable’s Siddhant Adlakha thought Boy Kills World had some “awesome action,” but similarly was not keen on the storyline. Check out his thoughts:

This is a distinctly "turn your brain off" kind of movie, though in flipping that switch, what's left to pass through the lizard brain isn't always entertaining enough.

While most critics are saying the same thing about Boy Kills World, Variety’s Owen Gleiberman actually dug the movie, likening it to John Wick meets A Clockwork Orange. As he wrote:

The kill-kill-kill spirit of John Wick made a film like Boy Kills World possible, yet Boy Kills World takes it all a step further. It’s the action film as slasher movie as gonzo damaged-superhero movie. It’s a depraved vision, yet I got caught up in its kick-ass revenge-horror pizzazz, its disreputable commitment to what it was doing.

You can check out Boy Kills World in theaters now to form your own opinion on the new action flick! And watch out for the Bill Skarsgård and Brandon Lee comparisons in The Crow, which will be released on August 23.