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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Assassins (Released in 1995) - An average movie, starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore

Robert Rath (Sylvester Stallone) is haunted by images of an assassination gone wrong, which cost the life of his mentor Nicolia Tashlinkov (Anatoly Davydov). He spends agonized nights recalling and re-running the incident, yet goes about his ‘assignments’ with cold precision and a mundane proficiency which is almost eerie. He is sent the details of the next assignment, this time his mark is Alan Branch, a white supremacist entrepreneur, who was last seen in a Senate hearing for his involvement in matters such as financing right wing death squads in South and Central America, money laundering and drug trafficking. Branch is attending his brother’s funeral, now wheelchair bound after he was shot.
Rath is present at the funeral as well, his right arm in a plaster cast which conceals the weapon; unbeknownst to Robert, Alan is marked by another assassin, who is also present - Miguel Bain (Antonio Banderas), Alan is shot dead, and Rath is now on the heels of Bain, the police come in and arrest him before Rath can get to him. However, on his way to the police station, Miguel makes a run for it, taking advantage as the police car is in an accident.
Rath reaches the crash site, only to find out that Miguel has left. He hijacks a taxi, and when Bain radios for one, Robert drives up to receive him, deliberately missing a turn and picking up a fight with his violent co-passenger. Suddenly, Miguel recognizes him, as they are parked alongside a football park, Rath tells him he’s upset because he stole his contract and wants to know who his contractor is - when Miguel refuses to tell him, Rath tells him they can sit it out in the taxi. Just then, Bain marks the football the kids are playing with; the psychotic sociopath threatens to kill a kid unless Robert drives. Bain taunts Robert’s resolve to protect the innocent, saying his work ethic is old fashioned.

On the way, Bain tries to kill Rath, but his weapon gets lost; just as Robert is about to kill him - Miguel and he encounter a police patro l- the police chase the taxi. The enemies turned unlikely allies are suddenly in cahoots with each other - avoiding the cops. Bain confesses that he actually admires Rath and has followed his career carefully over the years. Twisted and corrupt, Bain is aware that Nicolai was betrayed by Rath, and taunts him with the painful memory. As he tries to avoid a collision, Bain abandons the taxi even as Robert hurriedly dodges the police.
Before Bain bailed out, he mentioned a chess game played by Nicolai and Rath, and utters the words ‘bishop takes rook pawn’; back home, Rath replays the game, following Bain’s lead, and is check mated - he realizes he’s the mark now. An unknown stranger chats with Rath, he or she is the contact who gives him orders. Robert wants to abandon the whole cat and mouse game, but is given one last assignment - to take down a female hacker who has compromised vital information and is selling it to Dutch buyers. He is told to retrieve the stolen discs, eliminate the buyers as well as ‘retire’ the mark.
Rath’s contact is unable to tell him the mark’s name or describe her identity, she only has an Internet logo - a black, green eyed cat. On the other side of town, Electra (Julianne Moore) is about to contact Remy, a Dutch buyer to hand over the discs to him. Robert follows the men into The Marriott, where Electra directs them to her room, they take the lift and on it , beating Rath, is Miguel. Robert makes a hoax call asking maintenance to check the electricity on the 12th floor where Electra is staying - he breaks into her room and goes through the computer, realizing that multiple reservations have been made - where is she?
Directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon), the film wasn’t well received by critics (like most of Stallone’s movies), yet the performance by all three actors was well received by audiences worldwide.

Assassins (Released in 1995) - An average movie, starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore

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