Last month, I reviewed the South Korean Comedy Intimate Strangers and when I saw the trailer for Kill Mobile, I literally thought it was the exact same movie…and I was right. The 2016 Italian film Perfect Strangers is currently spouting remakes all across the globe. So since I’ve already watched the South Korean version, let’s see how the Chinese version holds up.
The setup here is the same as the film it is based on. A group of lifelong friends, come together for a seemly innocent housewarming dinner, they end up playing a game where they must share all messages and calls of their cell phones as they come in. In what starts off as a lighthearted game turns into an uncomfortable hellish night as secrets start to surface and our group of lifelong friends realizes that they really don’t know anything about each other, and some details, they wish they hadn’t known.
It is almost impossible not to compare this film to its South Korean counterpart especially so soon after it’s release, so let’s look at the differences. The most noticeable difference is the runtime as Kill Mobile is 27 minutes shorter than Intimate Strangers. This works against the film early on because the time cut means audiences have less time to connect with the characters. I couldn’t help but feel that I was far more invested in the cast Intimate Strangers due to how great that cast was and how the slow build gave you more character development. In Kill Mobile, the development of said characters occurs much later meaning the key events is either delayed or removed entirely.
Despite the fact the trailer is much darker than the Korean trailer, in many ways it feels more light-hearted. If you watched Perfect Strangers, you already know all the twists, the biggest change however is that the ending isn’t nearly as dark as the original. In Intimate Strangers, the film drives the characters to the point where you really can’t redeem their actions which is why the film to its dismay, opted to change the ending to give them a more optimistic end. Kill Mobile doesn’t retcon their ending and goes to resolve their issues in a much more reasonable matter.
If you saw Intimate Strangers, nothing here is going to surprise but so if I had to give my final say on the film, Kill Mobile and Intimate Strangers are about on the same level. While I like the acting and the characters of the South Korean version better, there were storytelling details that worked out much better in the Chinese version so it all comes out to a wash. If you had to watch only one, I’d go with Intimate Strangers but Kill Mobile isn’t an inferior choice by comparison