Title: Assassin’s Bullet
Director: Isaac Florentine
Cast: Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland, Elika Portnoy, Timothy Spall
I feel bad for Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland and Timothy Spall. They must have either been manipulated into acting in Assassin’s Bullet, or straight out lied to. Those would be the only logical assumptions that can be made for why anyone would make the decision to be in this catastrophic disaster. Director Isaac Florentine, who also directed the MMA-based films, Undisputed II: Last Man Standing and Undisputed III: Redemption, now brings us a new film in his catalogue, called Assassin’s Bullet, which hits an all-time low. For the aforementioned MMA films, you could make the argument that he was merely pandering to a bro-filled crowd. I really have no idea how his movies are consistently being made. I can only assume he’s taken lessons from Uwe Boll in how to find loopholes in the tax system that helps fund his projects.
Now it may seem like I’m being too harsh on a VOD movie, but in all seriousness, I’m actually being too kind. Unapologetically stupid, it somehow manages to top itself in insulting the viewer time and time again with painfully expository dialogue and twists that I saw coming within the first ten minutes. Christian Slater plays Robert, who, by reputation, is “exemplary” in his duty as a government operative. As you might have assumed, he’s haunted by his ex-wife, who died tragically and now he’s incapable of getting over her. Donald Sutherland, who plays Ambassador Ashdown, is given very little to even work with; he’s skipped over and played off as some sort of government pawn that paid his way into office. A leather-clad, vigilante woman is now making a run at a terrorist cell, and Ashdown calls Robert onto the case. Robert’s sole friend, Dr. Kahn, played by Timothy Spall, is a psychologist who frequently meets Robert in a bar. Dr. Kahn is currently helping a woman named Vicky, played by Elika Portnoy, through her traumatic memories.
Only a few minutes inn, you can certainly tell there was an overabundance of low- budget effects that went into the production that felt superfluous; one in particular is a strange “whoosh” sound whenever something dramatic or suspenseful is happening. But the problems are not limited to the technical. A majority of Florentine’s troubles come from the script, which seems like it was written on someone’s lunch break with no thought or care. Vicky suffers the most due to the bad writing. She’s a woman suffering from PTSD, who, by way of Dr. Kahn, looks to find help for her tormenting syncopic occurrences. All of this is directly caused by a memory she has of a terrorist detonating a bomb and killing her parents in a town square. We’re given so little insight into her psyche that, as an audience, we simply do not care at all. Not that one could’ve expected much, given the b-grade look of the entire production.
Even stranger, our hero, Robert, does literally nothing throughout the entire film. Florentine’s focus seems to be on everyone and everything but Robert, who spends a majority of his time in a bar watching the exotic Middle-Eastern dancers. For someone so exemplary, he does nothing to deserve that title. This shows a complete misuse of someone like Christian Slater, certainly capable of more than he’s been given. I don’t full understand a lot of the directorial choices here, nor do I think Florentine had any idea why he was doing some of the things he does–he just seemed to be on overdrive. It’s never really thrilling, either, for being a film that is supposedly written for that specific drama. If you value your time, then stay away. Don’t waste your money like I did, you’ll only end up hating it even more. This may sound like something you might want to watch while you’ve had a few drinks, and it might be–that’s certainly how I would have preferred it.
Story – F
Acting – F
Technical – F
Overall – F