Written & Directed by Keith Snyder (2002)
Starring: Scott Wolf, Tim Roth, Gabriel Byrne
Emmett Young (Wolf), a homicide detective in Philadelphia, gets the news that he is suffering from a mortal disease after a simple blood test. He is given less than a month to live, but when he meets a stranger named Jack Marlow (Byrne), he decides to take death into his own hands and hires someone to kill him. While in his last days, a violent homicide has absorbed his focus as his last deed.
Marlow, meanwhile, goes to an acquaintance Frank Dwyer (Roth), who is a down and out ex-cop currently working as a security officer. Frank is unwilling to kill a man, but the need for money wins out. He agrees, with Marlow belittling him along the way.
The process of Frank preparing to murder Emmett is matched with his investigation of the homicide. Emmett becomes absorbed entirely in what he assumes is his final case. He’s hoping he can wrap it up in the five days he’s given himself.
I gravitated more to the Frank Dwyer portions of the movie, really. Emmett’s story holds up really well for fans of crime shows– anyone who’s a fan of Law & Order and its various spin offs will find an interesting story there. Frank is more of a psychological study; we see him in his small apartment, going out on dates, glimpses of his past as a former police officer.
Killing Emmett Young is a fair enough movie about two men. The washed out visuals and Philadelphia location makes for an intriguing urban crime story, as much about how mistakes in life can have larger consequences as about a hit.