Since I just inducted Charles Bronson into The Video Vacuum Hall of Fame, I thought it was a good idea to review a film of his that I hadn’t reviewed yet. Problem was I didn’t know which one to review. Luckily, serendipity intervened as his 1987 effort; Assassination was on Showtime not long after the induction ceremony.
Bronson stars as a Secret Service agent who is assigned to protect the bitchy feminist First Lady (Jill Ireland). Someone is hellbent on killing her and it’s up to Big Chuck to stop them. To elude the assassins, Chuck takes her cross-country and the two eventually form a mutual respect for one another.
Assassination is a relatively minor, yet mostly watchable Charles Bronson film. It’s notable for reuniting the star with Death Hunt director Peter Hunt and pairing him with his wife Jill Ireland for the sixteenth and final time. It was a Golan-Globus production, but unlike most of their collaborations with Bronson, this one is painfully low on random craziness, excessive violence, and unintended hilarity.
There is this one scene though where Bronson drives around on a motorcycle that has machine gun turrets attached to it and shoots bazookas at his potential perp. In my opinion, he isn’t a very “Secret” Secret Serviceman. That scene, nutty as it is, sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the rather sedate surroundings.
Hunt is a capable and competent director. He gives the flick a glossy and classy look, something that a lot of Bronson’s 80’s flicks lacked. This is after all, the guy who directed On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, so we know he can balance action and romance pretty well. Well, Assassination is sure as shit no On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but it does show us a softer side of the Bronson persona than we’re used to seeing. Now do we necessarily NEED a “softer” Charles Bronson? No way Jose Canseco.
Because of the softer edge and PG-13 rating, Assasination isn’t as much fun as a lot of Bronson’s 80’s classics. I also think the flick should lose points too because Bronson’s character is named “Killion” and doesn’t get to “Kill” very many people. It is still nevertheless a not-bad action flick that should appease easy to please Bronson fans.
Chuck naturally gets the best line of the movie after he bangs a hot Asian chick: “I don’t want to die from a terminal orgasm!”
AKA: The President’s Assassin.