A Little Big Action: An Interview With ‘Molly’ and ‘Kill Mode’ Director Thijs Meuwese
“It plays out almost like the history of action movies in a way,” he begins. “It has elements of 70s action movies. It has elements of 80s action movies, and even elements of more modern Michael Bay and Neill Blomkamp movies.” Meuwese plays with these themes “and mashes them into one story” giving the viewer a chance to see things evolve. “It sounds like a complete mess,” he adds, “but I think it tracks very well.”
It’s a type of action movie that we don’t get as often these days. Naturally, Meuwese has theories on that as well. “[Studios] are not really happy if they spend 100 million dollars and make 300 million. They want to make a billion dollars.” He continues, “Die Hard is one of the best action movies, but Die Hard would never make a billion. They want to make Avengers: Endgame. That’s why we don’t get those 80s action movies that are smaller in scale because they don’t make that much money.”
But this gap from big studios leaves a vacancy that Meuwese is all too willing to fill, so the subject turns to his vision for Kill Mode. Of course, with a new vision comes an all new set of problems. We talk for a minute about the action film trope where the bad guys literally stop shooting for literally no apparent reason other than to give the good guys a moment to have a conversation. Instead, he wanted to make a film where “as soon as the bad guys are on the tail of the good guys, and the action really starts, it doesn’t really stop.”
Of course, this presents other concerns. “It’s not necessarily fascinating to look at action,” he notes, adding, “You easily get tired of it.” The solution? “You have to constantly change things up: different weapons, different characters, different emotions, different goals…” The challenge, Meuwese says, is figuring all those things out and keeping things moving when your movie is “an hour long of people fighting.”
As we were wrapping up our conversation, Meuwese was in the midst of final preparations to take his film to Cannes in search of a distributor. While there is not yet any news to report, he did express optimism that a trailer would drop over the summer ahead of a possible late 2019 release. Meuwese’s debut film, Molly, is available on VOD and Blu-ray from Artsploitation, and we will definitely be keeping tabs on news for Kill Mode and anything else Thijs Meuwese has to offer down the road.