Kiss of Death Poster

Kiss of Death (2024) Review

We’ve reviewed several of director Christian Sesma’s films in the past few months, including Every Last One of Them and Lights Out. His most recent, Kiss of Death, is a little different, it skipped the digital and VOD release and went straight to Tubi. That’s not always a bad sign, but let’s face it, it’s not a good one either.

Mykah (Sheila Leason, Pitchfork, Love and Reality) and Jamieson Jones (Kevin Blake Chandler, Twenty Somethings, Count on It) are seeing a marriage councillor. He’s convinced she’s cheating on him, and indeed she did spend the previous night with another man. Only she was killing him, not fooling around with him.

She’s a killer for hire, but with the toll her career is taking on her marriage, she’s thinking of getting out of the business. At least until Chauntell LaRoux (Kyle Kankonde, Midnight Hustle, Charlotte The Return) walks into her photography studio with a bag containing $500,000 and asks her to kill her husband Dyson (Dontelle Jackson, 1040 Not So EZ, They Lost It).

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When she hesitates, Chauntell shows Mykah a picture of her in a compromising position with one of her victims. Apparently she has been cheating on Jamieson to get to her targets, but since she only kills bad men, it’s for a good cause, right? Her handler Lady (Cheryl Frazier) seems unbothered by it, however, she advises her to just “get intimate” with him to get close to him and get the job done. Then worry about her family.

Writer Karen R. Hardin (The Available Wife) starts with a familiar central idea and then fills Kiss of Death with more elements we’ve seen before. Young Mykah finding her murdered parent’s bodies floating in the pool, Dyson’s business empire being a front for his violent criminal empire, Mykah and Jameson have a teenage daughter Malia (Anmalya Delva, Hidden Murder Island) who thinks the worst of her mother and becomes a target for the villains, etc.

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Once we get to the start of the final act, Kiss of Death does deliver a couple of unexpected developments, but it’s too late in the game, and they’re too buried in overly familiar material to do more than make the last half hour a bit more interesting, emphasis on a bit. Either way, the film’s ending is so terrible it’s not worth sticking around for.

The right director might have been able to make something out of this script, but while Sesma is a competent director, he’s not an innovative or particularly good one. Kiss of Death looks and sounds good, but it just plods along from one talk heavy scene to another. The film’s action scenes are very limited, as I’m sure the film’s budget was as well, leaving little to distract the audience from how dull it all is.

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What makes it worse is that, as a protagonist, Mykah is near impossible to like or emphasize with. Despite this, the film insists on portraying Jameson, and eventually Malia, as the unreasonable ones for refusing to accept “trust me” as an explanation for her actions. The script goes there almost from the start when we first see the couple during a counselling session. Kiss of Death needed a major rewrite to fix this, especially given the film’s resolution.

Equal parts dull, preposterous and annoying, it’s obvious why Kiss of Death went straight to Tubi. It makes the worst of the films I’ve seen from the director, Section 8, look good by comparison. At least it had a couple of familiar faces and a few action scenes to break up the monotony. This in contrast may as well have been called A Kiss Goodnight because it will help put you to sleep.

Kiss of Death is available on Tubi.

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