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Laramie Movie Scope: Assassins

A lackluster action film

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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October 9, 1995 -- ``Assassins'' is the latest big budget action movie to come to Laramie. It is about what you would expect: Lots of bullets, lots of explosions, Sly Stallone looking determined and Antonio Banderas looking sexy.

The plot is a thin excuse for Stallone and Banderas to engage in a series of shoot-outs and chases and it works on that level. Stallone plays Robert Rath, a high-paid hit man who wants to score one last big one and then hang up the guns. Banderas plays Miguel Bain, an up and coming hit man who wants to get rid of Rath and take his place.

Rath is given the assignment of taking out Electra (Julianne Moore), a surveillance expert who has obtained a top-secret computer disk worth millions. Instead of killing her, Rath decides to team up with her when he is double-crossed by the person who hired him. The two come up with a scheme to collect $16 million for the computer disk and make a clean getaway.

There's another subplot involving memories of a Russian assassin Rath killed years before. There are some surprises at the end involving a complex shoot-out and some double-crosses. ``Assassins'' is a formula action movie that is not particularly believable, but then few action movies are believable. On the other hand, there are some good action sequences and good stunt work. Veteran action film director Richard Donner maintains a fast pace throughout the film.

All the actors do a good job. Banderas, especially, has an electrifying screen presence. He's convincing as an over-the-edge killer. Stallone plays it safe with a minimal performance that doesn't betray his limits as an actor.

This film has similar strengths and weaknesses as another action film that came out earlier this year, ``Die Hard With a Vengeance.'' I rated that particular ``Die Hard'' a C and I rate ``Assassins'' the same, but I think most people would prefer the Die Hard sequel.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)