Monday, 6 October 2008
Directed by: Peter Hunt
Screenplay: Richard Sale
Starring: Charles Bronson & Jill Ireland
Silly but fun action film starring real life husband and wife team Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland. Assassination will never go down as one of Bronson’s best but thanks to fun performances and some over-the-top action it's an entertaining time killer. It’s also a pleasant surprise to see Bronson playing a more light hearted action hero who is actually happy most of the time and not having to dish out ultra violent revenge to those who killed some member of his family. Though he still gets to blow some stuff up good.
Bronson plays Killion, a seasoned secret agent who, along with his team, is assigned to protect First Lady Lara Craig (Ireland). Of course her being the rich, spoilt and badly written female caricature that she is, will have none it and the two butt heads from the get go. Which of course means she doesn’t believe Killion when he warns her of an attempt on her life, leading to her to put herself in harms way in the most annoying and stupid manner. However, after some exploding boats, barns and dead people alter her perception of Killion’s skills, she soon comes around to the idea of her assassination and the two then go on the run determined to expose who is behind the assassination attempts.
Harmless fun, that is cheap and cheerful this Cannon produced Bronson vehicle rattles along in a ridiculous manner but is made watchable by the charming leads and their fun character interplay. Ireland does well and on several occasions shows she is not as dumb as her scripted character appears. It would have been nice to have her character as a more responsible, intelligent person but hey, this was the eighties when the woman had to be a little dumb in order for the quick thinking male to have reason to save her. Bronson is cool as ever and seems to be having fun playing a character who isn’t carrying around loads of emotional baggage and violent retribution on his mind like, say, in Death Wish 1 thru 5000.
Flick is competently made by On Her Majesty’s Secret Service helmer Peter Hunt and while most of the action is saved for the second half of the flick, it is satisfyingly explosive if rather over-the-top in a very 80s way. I mean, where else will you see Bronson riding a motorcycle with a machine gun mounted on the handlebars and then dueling with another guy with bazookas? Yep, these dudes don’t use guns but bazookas, firing rockets at one another until one of them eventually goes boom. Oh, and lets not forget the jet ski shootout. Great, if silly stuff. In fact, the action in Assassination seems to pack in every kind of vehicle going from helicopters, to boats, to cars, to motorcycles, to trains and to even those aforementioned jet skis. So for the sheer amount of vehicular themed action (it’s as if the makers were ticking off all available vehicles until they got them in the movie), Assassination is recommended on a that alone.