No Man of God recounts the relationship between serial killer Ted Bundy (Luke Kirby) and FBI profiler Bill Hagmaier (Elijah Wood). Using real transcripts, the film details their bizarre bond during Bundy's years of incarceration leading up to his execution.
A new lens for an old camera. We've seen this story many times before, but not framed through Hagmaier's lens. We don't need to keep recounting and glamourizing Bundy's atrocities, so it was a breath of fresh air seeing a new perspective. Kit Lesser pieced together a decent character study. I was, however, taken aback when the film tried to convince me that serial killers are just normal people. That was whack and made the quiet narrative feel cheap. Aside from that, the script was decently written and less exploitative than the films we're used to seeing about Bundy. The strong point of this film is the acting. Wood and Kirby ping off each other like a Sorkin-esque tennis match, shooting the shit like two girlfriends at Bennigan's. Both actors deliver but Kirby's performance is the true standout. It was controlled and shaded and terrifying and just fabulous, honestly. He is certainly the best Bundy I've seen, perfectly capturing the killer's threatening yet charismatic nature.
A woman's touch. There's was a level of sensitivity required for the subject, and Amber Sealey delivers that. Stylistically, both interesting, and questionable choices were made. The good: it was well shot, often framing Bundy in ways to make him aggressive in some scenes, then minimized in others, and she made great use of space in such a confined set. The bad: the intense, dark montages underlined with an electronic score felt out of place and often took me out of the story. I can't truly fault them for that since the film didn't have many locations. I understand they needed something to break up scenes — I just wish they found a better way to do that.
Bottomline. All that being said, the film is enthrallingly boring. I was fascinated with what I was seeing, but yet I found myself slogging through. Some qualms with the script and pacing, but it's a fine feature nonetheless — tightly shot, well-acted, with a tense score by Clarice Jensen.