No Man of God
The story of criminal profiler Bill Haigmaier and his meeting and interviews with serial killer Ted Bundy over the course of a number of years.
Elijah Wood plays Bill, with Luke Kirby portraying the notorious killer. If you're looking for death and detailed descriptions of what Bundy did, this isn't the movie for you. Instead, this is a very intimate character piece, with the vast majority of the run time taken up with face to face interviews between the two leads. It's very well acted, and Kirby in particular is excellent. He brings an unnerving humanity to the character, somehow managing to make him likeable, albeit for a short period of time. It could have easily been a showy role, but Kirby keeps it grounded.
Wood is good too, but has a lot less to work with. He isn't even there to get Bundy to confess, rather to understand why he did what he did, so that he can build a profile of another killer the FBI are trying to catch. This discussion turns into, it's hard to say. The two are never friends (though Bundy thinks they are) but there's definitely some kind of respect (?) between the two. At times it seems the killer is playing Wood's character, but you also get hints that he's seen it all before, and knows exactly when he's being manipulated. The only real issue is that Wood still seems too young to be playing the role. You get the impression early on that he's not some fresh-faced kid just out of the academy, but he certainly looks that way.
The discussions between the two are fascinating, and at times Kirby manages to make you forget he brutally killed at least 30 girls. Given how Bundy was said to be quite charming in real life, and obviously very intelligent, it works well to catch you off guard when he does say something shocking (which only occurs once or twice). As above, this isn't about what Bundy did or how he did it. Despite the fact that the killer spoke at length before his death about what he'd really done, there's only one scene of a confession of sorts - no flashbacks or re-enactment.
It's far from flashy, with only a couple of odd sequences. There's also archive footage of the day Bundy was executed. The small pieces of music were good, though I'm not sure they went with the type of film. Hats off for the performance (Aleksa Palladino and Robert Patrick were also both good in very small roles). An interesting, but slight picture, which doesn't try to explain or delve into the characters in the way you expect. 3.5/5