* * *
AKA: The Shooter
Directed by: Ted Kotcheff
Starring: Dolph Lundgren, Maruschka Detmers, Assumpta Serna, Gavin O'Herlihy, and John Ashton
When the Cuban ambassador to the U.N. is assassinated by a sniper, U.S. Marshal Michael Dane (Dolph) travels to Prague
to apprehend the suspect. As it turns out, the suspect is Simone Rosset
(Detmers), and the relationship between Dane and Rosset becomes
complicated. Naturally, there is a conspiracy that goes all the way to
the top - and Dane must fight hard to get to the truth. Being a stranger
in a strange land, will he succeed?
Hidden Assassin - not to be
confused with Silent Trigger (1996), or Hidden Agenda (2001) for that matter (although
Silent Trigger has a similar plot that involves male and female snipers
who are conflicted about their actions) - was made during the period in
Dolph’s career where he was trying to be more serious, and was
appearing in films with a darker and more somber tone. Whether
intentionally or not
on his part when he was choosing his roles, these 90’s Dolphs are
different from his 80’s heyday.
What follows is more intrigue
than out-and-out action, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s
just a different animal from, say, The Punisher (1989). Here Dolph
is put into some interesting scenarios - from a smooth, wine-tasting
gentleman, to an action hero not afraid to get hurt and be covered in
blood (interestingly, his white T-shirt with the bloodstain will remind
you of Andrew W.K.). He even wears an interesting Franz Kafka shirt at
one point. The Prague locations are a highlight of the movie. The
cinematography is top-notch, and thanks to the interesting setting and
good production values, as well as the big-sounding score, Hidden
Assassin seems to be going for a classier vibe.
Detmers recalls a
more-sane Sean Young in her prime, and as far as casting goes, in
lesser (?) hands, Dolph’s role could have been played -
should the dire need arise - by Frank Zagarino (similar hair). His
sidekick could have been played by Dennis Franz. What’s going on with
Dennis Franz? We haven’t heard too much from him lately.
Assassin is probably one of the better 90’s Dolphs, thanks to the
quality of the technical aspects of the film, but had this movie been
made in the 80’s, it would have been a more full-throttle action film,
and that would have been nice to see.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty