Add a Review

  • Hitchcoc17 November 2006
    A movie with actors mouthing lines, dragging on into eternity. Anthony Quinn is considered one of our greatest stars, but every once in a while there is a clinker and this is one of them. The plot itself could be filled out nicely with some decent writing and a little editing. I always marvel at how in movies (Air Force One is an example), there is such incompetence. After a failed assassination attempt there should be an army standing guard and no one but those with total clearance should be in attendance. Still, a kidnapping can take place. Just the international implications boggle the mind. This isn't some guy, sitting in his living room. The other thing is the datedness of this film. Perhaps it's unfair to use this as a criticism. A great many "topical" films of the sixties and seventies seem to wear very poorly. As one looks back, it seems like a hundred years ago. The dialogue is really the most dated of all. If you watch this, you'll wish you had the two hours back at the end of your life.
  • I got this in a dollar store. $1 for a DVD with two movies on it (the second being The Snows of Kilmanjaro). I like picking up these low budget movies. Most are awful but every now and then I find a gem.

    Fatal Assassin would not be called a gem, but it isn't a lump of coal, either. Quinn, who has a fatal illness, kidnaps a visiting dignitary in South Africa in order to provide for his daughter. Meanwhile, an assassin has been hired to kill the dignitary. The story focuses more on the growing relationship between Quinn and the President.

    I did not think this was a bad movie at all. It held my interest to the end.
  • Yup, a nice coming out of the shower scene with our favourite misfortunately bad "straight to video" actor .. well let's be fair, there are no bad actors of John Phillip Law's calibre, just bad scripts and this is one of them ... man is this ever one of them

    Too bad he wasted his time on this lemon, but I purchased it solely because he's in it .. thank God for ebay and the $3.99 movie deals

    This confusing muddled mess, I think, after having watched it more than once, revolves around Quinn working in South Africa as a male nurse who, as luck has it, is able to kidnap an African dignitary visiting his hospital for tests, following a failed assassination attempt by Law's character, Shannon .. from a top of a high building ..

    What conspires is a jumbled attempt to retrieve the President and the climax of the movie taking place on some remote mountain ledge .. about 15 years before Ruby Ridge and just as forgettable .. and the twist being that the President's own Chief of Staff has hired Law to kill his boss .. a scene we get to see unfold with Law making his best attempt to fit in with the 70's "hey you're too groovy baby" street speak ..

    The score, the sound, the audio tracking, the plot, the character development, everything in this film was bad .. it was like being stuck in some really bad Saturday afternoon Kung Fu nightmare .. only worse, cause John Phillip Law was in it and I wanted to watch him, I guess being a fan of this, nice to stand there and just breahte, actor has its drawbacks, this movie, in a long string of bad flicks for our handsome hunky blue eyed ingenue, is one of them ..

    Stay away from this movie unless you are a die hard John Phillip Law fan or can fully understand muddled Anthony Quinn dialogue .. or late night infomercials have you ready to jump off a building
  • At first glance, this occasionally melodramatic action thriller appears to be a turkey, with amateurish performances, incoherent narrative and a laborious pace. Anthony Quinn plays a widowed and dying male nurse at a South African hospital who kidnaps a visiting African President (Sabela), concealing him in a disused mine, seeking to extort $100K to support his teenage daughter following his death. Complicating matters, a hired assassin (Law) is stalking the president, leading to a tense encounter on a chair lift.

    South African stalwarts Marius Weyers and Simon Sabela deliver likable performances, and although both the female actresses (Prinsloo and Du Plessis) in my opinion looked amateurish, the cast generally knits together well (the ubiquitous South African actor Ken Gampu has a key supporting role). John Phillip Law, while second billed, isn't as prominent as Sabela or Weyers but gives an animated performance nonetheless as what must be considered one of the screen's most inept hit men.

    The rapport that develops between captor and captive seems quite sincere and believable, both Quinn and Sabela trading some at-times humorous dialogue as they forge a mutually respectful relationship that transcends race and, the obvious constraints of the situation. While the plot holes were regular and gaping, I found the climax to be better than expected; heroism, redemption, tragedy all unfold with cinematic intensity. Not a work of prestige, but if you persist beyond the first hour without reaching for the remote, then you should be rewarded.
  • It's hard to imagine Anthony Quinn as an average Joe when he's so often a larger-than-life character, but in Target of an Assassin, he's just your ordinary male nurse. And believe it or not, it works.

    Or is he just an ordinary nurse? In the story, John Phillip Law tries to assassinate an African president, Simon Sabela, but when he's unsuccessful, Simon is sent to a hospital to recuperate. Tony is his nurse, but he throws the audience for a loop when he gives Simon a sedative and kidnaps him! Who's the bad guy in this movie? You'll have to watch it to find out.

    If you do decide to watch it, it's not very exciting. It's kind of like a bad 1970s action flick, which, let's face it, it is. Tony has a side plot of trying to protect his daughter and take care of his own illness, but it's clearly just a bone they threw him so he can show off his acting chops that are clearly wasted in an action movie. Needless to say, this one wasn't my favorite.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    We saw this on the local access cable channel the other night, and we had a very hard time understanding the dialog. Judging from somebody else's review, it appears the film transfer was very low quality and the problem was not the fault of the cable company (which makes sense, since the next movie we watched sounded fine). Even ignoring the audio problems, this just isn't a great movie.

    I always wonder what happened when you see someone like Anthony Quinn doing in a grade B movie...maybe it looked a lot better as a script. The overly melodramatic predictable ending was tough on the stomach.

    Oh yes...could somebody please explain to me why shooting out a power line on a gondola tower would cause the bolts that hold the gondola to the cable to fail? Did I sleep though something important?
  • Peter Collinson, the guy who directed "The Italian Job" (1969), didn't do an extraordinary job here. I do not know who is more to blame, him or the script, probably the script. The movie is boring, hard to digest. There are passages when the music is really annoying. Anthony Quinn tried his best, but unfortunately, this role was not for him. Sometimes he is even embarrassing. John Phillip Law repeated the same scene endlessly, trying to shoot the black president. I only saw the movie because I really like Anthony Quinn, he is one of my favorite actors ever. But not here. I also liked John Philip Law in "Danger: Diabolik" (1968) and "Strogoff" (1970). Not here. One star for Quinn, one for Law.
  • Others have noted the poor production qualities of this film. And that it has a very weak script, with directing to match. It is set in South Africa but has inferior cinematography that gives it a feel of Third World production quality – or that of a B-level film in Hollywood. So, how can it rate as high as a 6? Mostly due to the two main characters and the interaction between them. Sailor Slade and President Lunda, played by Anthony Quinn and Simon Sabela, respectively, add some human depth without which the movie would be flat and dull as a paper plate.

    While the plot has some obvious holes, it has just enough intrigue to hold our attention, albeit loosely. Some – I suspect younger reviewers, are taken by John Phillip Law and his performance as Shannon. But his role, as the assassin, seems to be a subplot that at best helps keep a certain level of the intrigue. The real drama, both serious and light- hearted at times, plays out between the two protagonists. Both are older, wiser men, who play off each other nicely.

    Those roles are not very strong either, but the plot is interesting enough, and Quinn and Sabela lend a little stature to the film by their performances. This could have been a very good movie with a polished script and a reasonable sum of money spent for quality direction, cinematography and editing.
  • 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".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Look, I'll have to be honest here - if not for the copy on the video sleeve and the other reviewers on this board, I'd be pretty lost on this flick. I'm glad to see at least that I wasn't the only one befuddled by muffled dialog; at one point I asked my wife to come in the room and see if she could understand what the characters were saying. Not a clue.

    OK, so if one goes with it, you have to believe that Anthony Quinn's character would be able to kidnap the president of an African country out of his hotel room and make his way to an abandoned mine shaft in order to hide him for a ransom demand. This after an assassination attempt on the president by John Phillip Law, who then manages to get himself admitted to the same hospital as the President (Simon Sabela) to continue his mission. By the way, I use the actors' real names here because I never caught their character names in the film, not that it ultimately mattered.

    Before it's all over, Quinn and the Prez have a Stockholm Syndrome moment and things come to a head at the top of a mountain accessible only by cable car. Talk about the Energizer Bunny, but Quinn's character takes the assassin's rifle shot and still manages to hook his way over from the stranded cable car to safety. It's a dramatic finish to an otherwise ponderous hour and a half plus, and you'd be doing yourself a favor to fast forward all the way through this thing if you ever get your hands on it. Which I wouldn't recommend by the way.

    As a final humorous observation, the thing that struck me most in the picture were those huge letters KC on the back of the Klein Contractors truck that Quinn borrowed for his kidnap attempt. The timing would have been right in the late Seventies for a cameo appearance by the Sunshine Band. Wouldn't that have been something?