The inspiration for Kill Your Friends comes from the author/screenwriter’s own experiences working in the music industry as an Artist and Repertoire man. It is a skewed look at the music industry set in the 1990s. Nicholas Hoult as Steven Stelfox is our surrogate as the A&R man at Unigram record label.
We quickly find out he is an ambitious man who will kill to get further in his career. The brit pop setting is perfect for our charmless man who constantly reminds us that the music industry is all about money. It’s corrupt wouldn’t you know!?
The film uses this as an excuse to be utterly grotesque with it’s unearned references to the holocaust that vaguely resemble jokes. The cast is obnoxious and the film revels in that with women displayed across bedrooms consistently and a lot of drugs.
We watch Stelfox try to clamber his way to head of A&R through this music industry romp. Unnecessarily reminding us on several occasions that it’s not about talent or music it’s about making a hit. The film is not witty enough for his detestably obnoxious quips and speeches to the camera. There are some jokes that land quite well; mostly references to music in the 90s but it’s ultimately not funny enough.
Nor is it original enough to be exposing the music industry for the hub of extortion that many films before it have. The director, Owen Harris, tries to force a shocked reaction out the audience until it becomes tiresome.
Verdict: Not smart or funny enough to be this obnoxious and unoriginal.