Nicole Paone’s latest film, The Kill Room (2023), has stirred up a buzz, prompting a departure from her usual style that fans have grown to love, and it is winning hearts. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, and Joe Manganiello, the movie follows the story of Reggie (Joe Manganiello), who, upon one of his handler’s requests, decides to become a part-time painter to launder money for the company he works for. What starts out as a discreet business deal quickly snowballs into the whole art world, vying for a piece of Reggie’s work. The film is also a reaction to the current cultural trend of “finding art in everything,” be it a plastic bag stained with blood or a string of thread attached to two iron rods.
The Kill Room (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
Reggie (Joe Manganiello) is a highly skilled assassin with a handful of anger issues. The movie kicks off with him lying about buying a coffee from a local store, just to know if there aren’t any security cameras. And when he learns there aren’t any, he drags the store owner from behind the counter and kills him with a plastic bag. Reggie is an interesting character who enjoys true-crime podcasts while walking down the streets. However, the company Reggie works for runs into problems, justifying their finances, and decides on an unconventional approach to hide their money trail. Unfortunately, the guy who used to launder their money, turning them from dirty to legit, was arrested by the police and sent behind bars for years, leaving them to find new ways to deal with the money.
That’s where Uma Thurman’s character, Patrice, comes in. Patrice is an art curator, in debt from dead to toe. She owns an art gallery housing dozens of paintings, but the place, for some reason, is always empty. Gordon (Samuel L. Jackson) learns about Patrice from one of his friends and decides to strike a deal that will benefit them both. Gordon proposes a deal- he will give Patrice a painting and some money, and in return, she’ll cut him a tidy check minus her commission. Even though Gordon’s deal is very tempting, Patrice denies it. Gordon leaves the gallery, but not before he hands Patrice his card, you know! In case she changes her mind. However, Patrice has a change of heart once his biggest artist leaves her for her arch nemesis-Nicole (Marianne Rendón).
Who’s the Bagman?
Gordon asks Reggie, but this time, rather than asking him to kill someone, he asks him to grab a brush, dip it in color, and paint whatever he wants – pizza, a man running on the streets in his tighty-whities, a cat, a man with a mustache anything. He also proposes to his partners that if they need someone to bite the dust, they’ll need to buy Reggie’s art. In return, the curator will cut them a nice clean check, turning their dirty money into a legitimate one. Soon, Patrice cuts Gordon his first check after receiving a painting from his hitman-turned-painter, Reggie, aka Bagman (Reggie kills people with plastic bags). Soon, Patrice business starts soaring, earning her many new clients, even those who had left her for her rival, Nicole.
As for Reggie, he becomes an overnight sensation. Everyone wants at least one of Reggie’s paintings to hang on their walls. Curators from Milan and many other cities start bugging Patrice, trying to strike a deal with Bagman, but Patrice denies it. And why would she share his greatest artist? The world is going mad over Reggie’s painting, calling it a masterpiece. However, all Reggie does is mix some color around and literally throw it on a canvas to mix it. Patrice meets Reggie, and the latter asks what she makes about him after looking at his art. Patrice responds that if he paints his own sentiments, people would be able to “look into his soul.”
How Did Patrice Find Out the Truth?
At Reggie’s apartment, Patrice even finds a bunch of blood-soaked plastic bags and hangs them in his gallery by pasting them on a piece of cardboard. Patrice names the art “The Reflection of Consumerism.” But in reality, it is plastic bags that Reggie used to kill his targets. Patrice throws a huge party to unveil Reggie’s next art and introduce her newly-acquired clients. At first, Patrice thought Gordon and Reggie were some small-time drug dealers looking to launder the money. Unfortunately, at the party, she finally realizes that Reggie is a hitman by looking closely at the plastic bags.
She even ends up puking on his art. This revelation sweeps Patrice off his feet. Furthermore, she begins contemplating how many years of prison time she’ll get for laundering money for a bagel shop that kills people. Patrice thought her career would be over after this. However, it pushed her gallery and Bagman’s reputation to new heights. Reggie’s alias makes headlines at the Herald, citing his pieces as “emotionally complex, yet accessible.” Reggie’s boss, Andre, on the other hand, isn’t thrilled and believes Reggie’s art would land them in prison. He invites Patrice and Reggie to his restaurant and makes it explicitly clear not to attract unwanted attention since it can hurt their real business.
The Kill Room (2023) Movie Ending Explained:
What’s the Red Book?
Reggie has grown tired of his criminal life. He doesn’t want to kill people anymore. So what does Reggie want? He wants to paint and pour his feelings on a canvas for people to enjoy while they sip their favorite wine. He no longer wants to work for Anton and Andre and contemplates using the “Red File.” What’s the red file? It’s a file containing the names of unkillable people – drug dealers, weapon dealers, sex traffickers, kingpins – people everyone wants to be taken out but no one can get to.
Patrice decides to help and, through her connections, arranges an audience with a big-time arms dealer, Ramen Rashikov. He is one of the names on the list. But how? Patrice arranged Reggie’s meeting with Maxine, a big-time art critic. Maxine’s article made a splash, attracting Rashnikov’s attention, who just conveniently happened to be an art collector. Rashikov has cost Anton millions, and he has been desperately trying to take him out. However, he failed every time as Rashikov boasts some impressive security that can sniff dangers from a mile away.
Towards the end of “The Kill Room,” Roman arrives in Miami for Bagman’s final art piece. Subsequently, Patrice introduces him to the notorious and highly acclaimed Bagman. Patrice and Reggie plan to stream Rashikov’s murder to her entire gallery. Reggie pulls out his plastic bag and begins smothering Rashikov to death. However, towards the end, he tricks Anton into doing the rest. The duo then puts his body in a shipping crate and requests Mae to ship the crate to an unknown warehouse.
Patrice also sells the plastic bag that Reggie used to kill Rashikov to one of her wealthy clients. As for Reggie, he already had a boat in place to escape. Patrice also buys her freedom from Andre by offering him the check for Reggie’s final piece and threatening her that if anything were to happen to her, a dossier of the evidence would find themselves in a police station, implicating Anton in Rashikov’s death.