Latest in a long line of hitmen for hire films is Assassin Club starring Henry Golding as Morgan, the bland embodiment of the archetype who here quotes poetry to himself as he covertly takes aim with a sniper rifle. To no one’s surprise he takes so long reciting poetry to himself that he messes up the hit so quite how he finds employment in this line of work is anyone’s guess. Yet despite this he does get hired by Sam Neill as his handler in a role that comes under the heading ‘respected actor will work for a day for big pay cheque’ a template invented by Bruce Willis.
Morgan’s mission is to kill six other people at a million dollars per target but the fly in the ointment here is that the targets are all assassins themselves and they too have been contracted to do exactly the same. What follows is a globe hopping action flick that despite the on screen activity turns out to be at best a Poundland John Wick lacking any of the relentless frenetic pace of that franchise and demonstrates just how breathtakingly inventive those films continue to be. Here the action is muddled with use of handheld camera that detracts from the close contact brawling. Solemnly stated moments of drama are underscored by a ponderously booming score that unnecessarily and irritatingly underlines turgid revelations that can be seen a mile off by a blind man on a cloudy day with a bag on his head
Noomi Rapace as the villain of the piece does her best with a risible plot twist that makes a mockery of the on screen investigators. Sam Neill clearly had a day free for his scenes and the gorgeous Daniela Melchior is wasted as the archetypal ‘girlfriend-who-has-no-idea-what-her-boyfriend-does-for-a-living-but-will-inevitbaly-end-up-as-a-damsel-in-distress’. But for Henry Golding, having had success with lead roles in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (reviewed HERE) and ‘Last Christmas’ (reviewed HERE) and appears to be lined up as a star of the future but after the flop disappointment of Snake Eyes and Persuasion this latest film continues the downward trend with a big dip.
Strictly by numbers with terrible dialogue including genre clichés such as, ‘Who are you? What do you want?’ and, ‘This conversation’s over!’ but it is Sam Neill who has the most appropriate line almost critiquing the film by telling one character, ‘I think you’ve got this terribly wrong!’
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Here’s the Assassin Club trailer…..