NO MAN OF GOD (TRIBECA)
Depicting the psychological tug-of-war between convicted killer Ted Bundy and FBI agent Bill Hagmaier, No Man of God is intriguing yet familiar, bolstered by the performances of Luke Kirby and Elijah Wood.
In the early days of criminal profiling, FBI Agent Bill Hagmaier (Wood) is sent to interview Ted Bundy (Kirby) in an attempt to learn more about the psyche of those who commit the most heinous crimes. Playing out largely in an interrogation room between the two men, No Man of God is filled with engrossing back-and-forth with each word spoken carrying immense weight. Kirby is mesmerizing as Bundy, both in look and temperament, the standout performer of the film. Wood for his part is convincing and solid, the emotional manipulation of each conversation palpable through his every move.
No Man of God ultimately doesn’t tread any new territory in the tale of Bundy; his story has been told countless times in multiple forms of media. While intriguing from the start, the film fails to maintain the few bursts of narrative adrenaline, instead falling back into a one-note tone. Odd choices in the films composition, including old footage both random and of the era, also makes for a bit of a choppy composition with strange transitions.
I would have liked to have seen more in terms of Hagmaier’s journey through the conversations, which felt intended yet unrealized. However, Kirby’s performance is enough to leave you rattled and keep you entertained until the very last moments.
Photo from The Hollywood Reporter