15 August 2009 | lost-in-limbo
I was a little disappointed after re-watching 'Assassination'. It was a good piece, but it wasn't the non-stop action pack feature that I remembered. A bad thing
not really. Typical Bronson venture done through Cannon productions? Yes and no. However it's a typical story (even though quite ludicrous at times), but it felt rather low-scale (think of Bronson's 'Messenger of Death' the following year) with its thriller elements and explosively sparse action. Surprisingly when the action did kick into gear, the stunt work and positioning was impressive, but where the film's drive came from was the budding rapport between Charles Bronson (whose appealingly laid-back) and Jill Ireland (diving right into the role with convincing aplomb). Outside of those two I found the rest of the performances sub-standard.
The plot is a tautly twisty (but far-fetched) cross-country political thriller that has veteran Secret Agent Jay Killian assigned to protect the demandingly stuck-up first lady, where he uncovers a devious plot involving assassins out to her kill her. It's a complex web, but the material seems to breeze through rather concentrating on the combination of the two main characters and their growing respect for each other. It can be dramatically soapy, but never does it feel as if it's really taking itself seriously due to some forced humour coming from the script. This doesn't stall it at all. Director Peter Hunt (who also directed Bronson with Lee Marvin in the 1981 rugged survival thriller 'Death Hunt') does a conventionally efficient job, even with some sequences coming across as if made for a TV show. When it came to the vigorously pumped-up activity, Hunt was at the top his game accommodating a no-bull approach and the productively scope-like cinematography passes through the top-notch scenic locations with verve-like ease.
Earnestly slick filler.