This Town Has A Secret… She Will Kill To Protect It
Starring: Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland, Elika Portnoy, Timothy Spall
Director: Isaac Florentine
2012 | 90 Minutes | Rated R
“No witnesses.” – The Killer
In Florentine I Trust! That was my motto prior to seeing Assassin’s Bullet. Now I just don’t know. My whole world is caving in. OK, that might be a little drastic but this really isn’t what we have come to expect from a great director like Isaac Florentine.
A female assassin (Elika Portnoy) is killing terrorists in Sofia, Bulgaria. Robert Diggs (Christian Slater) is an ESL teacher in Sofia. He is a former police officer who is now tasked by Ambassador Ashdown (Donald Sutherland) to find out who this killer is. Vicki (Elika Portnoy) is another ESL teacher who regularly sees her psychiatrist, Dr. Kahn (Timothy Spall) because of blackouts that she is having. Robert falls in love with a belly dancer named Ursula (Erika Portnoy) and begins his first romantic relationship since his wife died four years earlier. All the while Robert is still trying to figure out who the killer is.
The story had some potential, the idea of a multi-personality female assassin is kind of intriguing. The story just isn’t told very well. It felt like the big reveal that the three different girls were in actuality the same person was intended to be a big surprise. It probably could have been pulled off but Elika Portnoy has a distinguishing birthmark or mole over her right eye and the character/s have a burn mark on their lower back.
The trailer would lead you to believe that this is an action movie. And Isaac Florentine being the director would certainly back that up but we only get two action scenes throughout the entire movie. There is one good but short scene at the very beginning and one longer but less exciting scene at the end. These particular scenes are well shot and choreographed but are too short to make this movie worth while. We spend more time watching Robert fall in love with a belly dancer, Vicki talking to her shrink or Vicki in weird dream/flashback sequences than we do watching The Killer killing. For a movie called Assassin’s Bullet we really don’t get a lot of assassinating.
Christian Slater wouldn’t have been my first choice for the lead role. He isn’t terrible and I have liked him in other movies but he never blows me away. He really doesn’t seem to be giving his all here either. His whole love angle with Ursula seems forced. There is a horrible scene where we have to watch Christian Slater playing guitar while Ursula sings and then the two of them dancing. It reminds me of one of those parties where that annoying guy pulls out his guitar to impress the girls while everyone else is trying to have a good time. All the other guys at the party want to go grab the guitar and smash it over the guys head, El Kabong/Jeff Jarrett style. Same deal with Robert here.
Donald Sutherland does as well as could be expected with his character. Donald Sutherland always seems to bring it. His personality comes across so well on film. Too bad his role is so small here.
In the special features Christian Slater says that it was a unique experience to be filming in Sofia, Bulgaria and actually having it take place in Bulgaria. I guess this is a plus for the film. It definitely does not feel like we were in America. The environments look nice and they are truly authentic but, again, it doesn’t make it a good movie.
Assassin’s Bullet was a huge letdown. I expected big things from Florentine and he didn’t deliver. I suspect that with a better script he could have put together a better movie. Hopefully he learns to pick up a script and read it before agreeing to his next film.