Rated: R for obscenities and violence. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: October 6, 1995 Released by: Warner Brothers
After Sylvester Stallone's recent bombs (The Specialist and Judge Dredd) he desperately needed a good film. He seems to have achieved that here. Assassins is a pretty good action thriller.
Stallone has surrounded himself with talented people: director Richard Donner (Superman and Lethal Weapon), Julianne Moor, and Antonio Banderas, and he looks better because of it.
He plays Robert Rath, a high-priced hit-man, who gets his instructions via his computer. He's tired and wants out, but agrees to one more multimillion dollar contract. The "mark" is a hi-tech thief, "Electra" (Moore), who uses her laptop to electronically steal industrial secrets.
Rath has some on-the-job competition from frenzied Miguel Bain (Banderas). He's breathing down Rath's neck, waiting to take over the number one spot.
The old story of the veteran being pursued by the rookie is changed a bit by adding "Electra." She starts out as Rath's contract, but he become her protector when Bain targets her also.
Bain pursues Rath on a dangerous cat and mouse chase, leaving a slew of dead bodies in their wake. It climaxes in a small South American town with an increasingly nervous Bain waiting for Rath to exit a bank so he can get the perfect shot.
None of the characters are likable, but Banderas and Stallone are interesting in their contrast. Stallone's Rath is calm, cool and catlike and Bain is sweaty, energetic and ready to explode.
The film is chock full of car chases, explosions and gun fire. Except for a tedious ending, the action never lets up. Looks like the world's highest paid actor has finally found himself a hit.