“Yes, if only I were like you, devoid of human sentiment.”
Now this! This is how you do a movie about an assassin! A heartless, emotionless, cold-blooded killer with no sympathy and feels no compassion for anyone, and only speaks when necessary. It’s all about the job and finishing it. None of that, “Romantic interest who reminds him what it’s like to be human again” bullshit is present here. Tackling the themes of emotions (or lack thereof) and the things they can cause us do, and the destruction they cause.
Just watch as he keeps his emotions under the utmost control while he fucks a woman while staying as still as a corpse with a blank stare while she does all the work. And does the same thing to another chick who actually loves him (fuck knows how that can be). Apparently, this style of having sex is enough to drive women wild and fall for him and think he’s the greatest lay ever.
This emotionless stance of the character tends to be a con for most viewers. It’s impossible to get emotionally attached or feel much for this guy, since he doesn’t tend to have any feelings. But hey, if that movie The Day of the Jackal can do it…
The strength of this film is spawned by the Judge Dredd influence, in that it’s the characters around the protagonist that make things interesting and worth watching, not the protagonist himself. How all other characters are ruled by their emotions, to contrast the protagonist who has none. Just about everyone so desperate to kill this guy out of anger and revenge. But there are elements behind those emotions that go beyond the assassin himself. Many have anger towards him, they target him with their anger, yet the origin of this anger is not from the assassin himself. He only appears as the result of being called for a contract by those who want him to kill others because their emotions demand that so-and-so be killed. So in a sense their anger is misplaced. And their emotions cause their downfall, either by others run by emotions, or by the man who has none.
And yet the assassin is incapable of joy because he has no emotions. Incapable of happiness, or anger, or sadness, or lust, all of which we see in everyone else to some extent. An individual like him wouldn’t exist if everyone else had their emotions in check, but they don’t. He has sex with women, yet is incapable of finding joy in it while the women do (again, fuck knows why/how they would find pleasure in this, but it’s thematic/symbolic so…). So then why does he have sex if he takes no pleasure in it? Because the women take pleasure in it? Like it’s his only way of bringing joy to people while he brings death and fear to others? Or to practice seducing women for the sake of getting them to help him get information or to get closer to a target? Or to contrast with another individual who takes pleasure in sex while the woman he has sex with despises the act (and as a result we see her slowly become more and more emotionally numb as the film goes on, implying she’s becoming similar to the assassin, in that being a victim of emotional violence makes one emotionally numb)? Or is it just an excuse to get some tits and ass in this film?
Well I don’t have a clear answer, so moving on. The main weak point of this film is during the finale when the helicopters show up. An opportunity to show of CG special effects, from 1983. Yes, it looks as fucking bad as you would expect it to. Holy Christ does it look bad. They could’ve easily trimmed this bit of the film down, but noooo. We have to see early signs of films thinking adding in new special effect technology will guarantee that the film will be better. Spoilers: it doesn’t. Thankfully, this doesn’t last very long.
The action scenes are done pretty damn well, the plot progresses well-enough and has an actually pretty damn brilliant twist at the end. And it ends openly, leaving the viewer to wonder at the fate of the character at the end. Does he die? Does he live? Does it matter since he’s emotionally dead inside anyway?
This is based off a series that I haven’t seen (there’s an older series and a newer series with the same name), but it does make me curious to watch them at some point. And this is a film I can recommend.
PS: There’s probably as much nudity and sex as there is action in this film. So that should get all you dudes’ attention.