What sort of man kills one of the most beloved musicians in the world, and what prompts him to pull the trigger? Filmmaker Andrew Piddington explores these questions in this fact-based drama which examines several weeks in the life of Mark… More What sort of man kills one of the most beloved musicians in the world, and what prompts him to pull the trigger? Filmmaker Andrew Piddington explores these questions in this fact-based drama which examines several weeks in the life of Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon. Chapman (played by Jonas Ball) is a self-obsessed young man who has an emotionally distant relationship with his parents and a failing marriage to Gloria (Mie Omori). Unable to hold down a job, Chapman spends a lot of time at the public library, where he rereads J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and browses though a photo book on John Lennon, and the two begin to fuse in his imagination, as he links Holden Caulfield's grousing about "phonies" with the fame and wealth of one-time activist Lennon. Chapman hops a flight to New York City and visits the sights Caulfield talked about in the novel when not busy standing vigil outside the Dakota, the luxury apartment building Lennon calls home, with a gun in his possession. The first time Chapman crosses paths with Lennon as he's leaving the Dakota, he asks the former Beatle to sign a copy of Double Fantasy, Lennon's new album; several hours later, Lennon returns home and Chapman approaches him with a very different intent. The Killing of John Lennon was primarily filmed in the locations where the real-life events took place, and all of Chapman's dialogue in the film was taken from his diaries or interviews he's given since his arrest and imprisonment. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Consensus: Despite a committed performance by newcomer Jonas Ball, The Killing of John Lennon is ultimately a flimsy character study.