The Killing of John Lennon puts the viewer squarely inside the mind of Mark David Chapman -- you should know that before going in, since many reasonable viewers might consider that a completely useless journey to take. The choice of director Andrew Piddington is to treat Chapman as though he's important enough to not only have his own biopic, but one that uses his words exclusively and takes its visual and dramatic cues from Chapman's own insane mental tics, such as fancying himself a modern day Holden Caulfield who can't stomach phoneys and has a personal date with infamy. In Piddington's defense however, the assassination was so meaningless that going down this path is probably the only way to film this story, unless you want to do it like Emilio Estevez's Bobby and focus on a lot of non-Chapman characters who just happen to be there when the maniac tornado blows through. Come to think of it, that might have been the more interesting choice, since The Killing of John Lennon is ultimately something of a bore.

Piddington has gone on the record to point out that he directed this film without seeking out Chapman's involvement -- I'm sure Chapman had the free time to be interviewed -- so that further muddies the question of exactly what Piddington was trying to accomplish with the project. Did he delude himself into thinking that making an exhaustive portrait of the inner workings of Chapman's mind would somehow come across as less celebratory of the man's life if he didn't consult Chapman himself? And when I use the word exhaustive, I'm using it from my perspective. This film's understanding of Chapman's inner world is fairly narrow -- his hatred of John Lennon is more or less summed up in his (Chapman's) assertion that Lennon "told us to imagine no possessions, but he has yachts and country estates." The bastard! His other musings on life are sometimes nothing more than quotations from movies he's seen, such as when he tells us "I don't think one should devote oneself to morbid self-attention. One should try to be a person like other people."