There’s some cracking talent here – Nigel Lindsay, Marian Bailey, Christopher Eccleston – but the tone of Dead in a Week Or Your Money Back can’t help but feel a tad misjudged
“You’re only alive because I haven’t killed you yet”
After a whole lotta Killing Eve in preparation for its new series, a pal recommended Dead in a Week Or Your Money Back for a slightly more light-hearted take on the assassin genre. And Tom Edmunds’ 2018 film is certainly that, if a little too casual perhaps in the cavalier way it deals with its main theme of suicide.
Aneurin Barnard plays William, a severely depressed young writer who has had little success in getting published and equally no success in taking his own life. Whilst failing at attempt #10, he’s approached by hitman Leslie (Tom Wilkinson) who offers to do the job professionally for him. William books him in but then of course, gets a call from a hot young publisher who has taken an interest in both him and his book.
But changing your mind isn’t easy when you’ve signed a contract, and Leslie has a quota to meet and so a black farce ensues as they each try to get what they want. The end result is more bizarre than truly funny with severe depression and suicide attempts played for laughs, alongside the traditional workplace comedy stuff as it turns out there’s a guild for assassins.
It doesn’t really come off but there’s a weirdly compelling aspect to the film, mainly because of the quality cast who keep popping up. Marion Bailey as Leslie’s longsuffering wife Penny, Christopher Eccleston as his quirky boss Harvey and Nigel Lindsay as a loudmouth boss who is amusingly dispatched. Not one to seek out perhaps but not necessarily one to switch over either.