It’s finally here, unless there’s something stashed away and kept secret, Assassin is the last film featuring Bruce Willis. Given the quality or lack thereof, of most of his later career output it seemed almost pointless to hope that he would go out on a high note, working with Jesse V. Johnson on White Elephant was probably his last chance of that. But could we at least hope that his last on-screen appearance wouldn’t be another embarrassment?
Alexa (Nomzamo Mbatha, Coming 2 America, A Hotel Called Memory) is angry and wants answers. Her husband Sebastian (Mustafa Shakir, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Luke Cage) was a drone pilot until a work-related accident put him in a coma. She demands answers from his boss Valmora (Bruce Willis, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Corrective Measures), the head of a private military operation.
Despite starting the meeting with a gun levelled at his head, Alexa ends up saving him from a knife-welding woman who rides up on a bicycle and attacks him. After the attack, his attacker claims to have no knowledge of what happened making it the latest of several similar incidents.
First time feature director Jesse Atlas (Kinesthesia, At the Green Line) and co-writer Aaron Wolfe (Record/Play) expanded the ideas in their short Let Them Die Like Lovers, which also featured Shakir, into the script for Assassin. And the first few minutes serve up enough action and questions to make the results look interesting.
Unfortunately, the answers aren’t anything we haven’t seen before. The drones Sebastion piloted were human beings whose bodies he took over using technology developed by Valmora’s team, “We kill the bad guys. Somebody else takes the fall”. The fact they’ve left an innocent person taking that fall doesn’t seem to matter.