Ted K Review: A Violent Story Not Worth Telling

Ted K shows audiences the true story of one of America‘s most famous serial killer and the biggest manhunt in FBI history. But do we need that story to be told? Read more in our review:
Ted K

Ted K shows audiences the true story of one of America‘s most famous serial killers and the biggest manhunt in FBI history. But do we need that story to be told? Read more in our review down below: 

The acclaimed Studio NEON is back with Ted K and while they are only the distributor for this film, their logo before a film usually promises something great. This film, unfortunately, is an exception.b Tony Stone‘s newest feature is nothing worth talking about. The film is based on a true story and follows Ted, also known as the Unabomber, who is living his life in the Montana woods outside of society. But as his lifestyle gets more and more interrupted from exactly this society, he starts to plan his revenge leading to the FBI’s greatest manhunt.

Ted K is Proof Not All Villains Should Get a Movie

Ted K

The biggest question I had about this film is why does it exist? Why do the filmmakers try to humanize actual villains? Is this really a story worth telling? Even if you set aside this aspect of the film, do they tell it in an interesting way? Does it work as a thrilling drama based on a true story? The answer to all those questions is simple: not really. But there are still some aspects of the film that I found to be exciting.

Starting with the film’s score by Benjamin John Power, which is probably the film’s biggest highlight. Big, atmospheric and stylish in a way, that I would casually listen to it. Its modern hip-hop-like beats are an interesting choice for this kind of film, but it worked perfectly.

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There are also some very interestingly framed and stylistically filmed scenes, which mostly take place in Ted’s head. Those scenes shine through because of the great use of color and the camera movements which feel very free and jarring. While those are rare, they are definitely a highlight and leave you wondering why there weren’t more of those stylistic choices.

The last highlight of Ted K is Sharlto Copley’s performance. While it’s more a nuanced turn, you can tell that he put a lot of research and depth into this role. But it also shows that the film didn’t give him a lot to work with. While Copley tried to put some layers to this character, the screenplay made it almost impossible to do that.

Ted K

A lot of time is spent on him living his everyday life in the woods and while this looks pretty nice, due to some great location scouting, it gets pretty boring really fast. With a 120 minutes runtime, it also has to be expected that there is some story to be told and the true events factor of it should definitely give the opportunity to tell more than it did.

For example, the “greatest manhunt in the history of the FBI” factor should give writers Tony Stone and Gaddy David enough material for the entire film, but Ted K does nothing with it. The feeling that this is supposed to be a huge event gets no time. This could only be explained due to the production budget, which is a total fair point, but then this shouldn’t be the selling point of the film, as it will leave audiences disappointed.

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Ted K is at times gorgeously shot, but ultimately a very empty film. The screenplay doesn’t find an interesting angle to tell the story and there definitely wasn’t enough money on the table to bring it to the screen. While there are highlights like Benjamin John Power’s stylish score and a dedicated performance by Sharlto Copley, Ted K is a film that didn’t need to happen.


Super LTD releases Ted K in theaters on February 18th, 2022

About Ted K

Directed by Tony Stone

Starring Sharlto Copley

From the brilliant mind of acclaimed director Tony Stone comes TED K-  a bracing, cinematic journey into the tortured mind of The Unabomber. Deep in the American Rocky Mountains lived a man who sought refuge from modern society. His dark writings forewarned of a society ruled by technology. As the outside world encroached on his mountain sanctuary, he slowly became radicalized with rage. What began with small acts of sabotage, culminated with deadly bomb attacks, national media attention, and the largest manhunt in American history. Actor Sharlto Copley brings a dark intensity and unnerving intimacy to this chilling portrait of America’s most notorious and enigmatic terrorist.

What do you guys think about Ted K? Are you planning to watch it? Have you seen it already, if so how did you like it? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Social Media.

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Picture of Finn Schlote

Finn Schlote

Finn thinks and talks about movies all day, has a strong interest in how movies are made and he loves great cinematography. Comedy or horror, arthouse or big-budget blockbuster, Finn watches everything. He is a passionate Blu-Ray collector and is still waiting for a Jumper (2008) sequel.