British filmmaker Peter Collinson has made some quite interesting, if undervalued features (like "Open Season", "Tomorrow Never Comes" and "Straight on Till Morning") however the low-budget B-picture "Target of An Assassin" was less than flattering. This muffled (terrible audio) and quite confounding film (adapted off the novel "Running Scared") would be something you might just come across on late-night TV and if so you would be trying your best stay with it. One thing the plot is rather muddled, abrupt and the whole affair is downright sluggish with a phone in performance by Anthony Quinn and b-actor John Phillip Law disappointedly playing second fiddle to everything else, despite his persistent hit-man's character getting the best moments. After an assassination attempt on an African president who's visiting South Africa, he's admitted to hospital only for a male nurse to kidnap and then hold him for ransom. Sharing plenty of time together the two soon begin to have a mutual respect for each other, but the threat of the assassin is still looming. The problem simply lies on the stout build up, as there's no real interest struck up from its overwrought and pandering script (where most of the time is spent on the complex, if compassionate relationship between Quinn and Simon Sabela's characters) and suspense is virtually non-existent (despite the feverish desperation of certain circumstances) where the few moments demonstrated are poorly conceived from Collinson's compact, if workmanlike direction. There are some good camera shots though, as the camera follows the action during the opening assassination and especially the cable car scene. Also showing up in a small part is South African actor Marius Weyers as a police Colonel who's doing his best to get back the African president. It has its moments but simply not enough.
"Be careful what you want, as you might get it".
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