Movie Review | Assassin (2023)


In Assassin, “Alexa” (Nomzamo Mbatha) is understandably angry that her drone pilot husband is somehow in a coma after a mission. How does a drone pilot end up in a coma? Turns out, things are much more dangerous than they seem. “Mr. Valmora” (Bruce Willis) heads up a secret experimental program which commandeers unsuspecting victims and turns them into untraceable assassins, thanks to crazy electronic worm-like technology. But this all comes at the cost of not being the sole player in this game, as they are being hunted down by a rival group with the same technology. Alexa has to take the place of her husband in order to take down “Adrian” (Dominic Purcell), the competitor's kingpin leader. 

With the exception of veteran Bruce Willis who needs no introduction - and Purcell (Assault on Wall Street, 2013) who needs little - the cast could have gone much further than they did here. The material they were given had great potential as a compelling and imaginative story. 

As it is presented here, people walk around and perform with no emotional connection. It's incredibly atrocious, and indeed, a total mess, but Assassin could have been something to be reckoned with. 

Mustafa Shakir (Brawl in Cell Block 99, 2013) is somewhat of a new sight on screen, as is Nomzamo (Coming 2 America, 2021) who boasts fantastic charisma and has much to offer audiences of all types. Would that we would see more of her in future years. 

Director and writer Jesse Atlas (Let Them Die Like Lovers, 2017) and writer Aaron Wolfe have some short films under their belts, but no big projects yet. Let's just consider Assassin a training run, shall we?

As for Bruce Willis, this has been announced to be his last film, due to his progressive brain condition. This writer believes he has more than earned the right to move on with dignity.