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Where the film falls down is in the plot structure and the unnecessary overuse of violence. The film begins well enough, with Wagner recruiting Max and training him to take over his job. Then, about two-thirds of the way through, the film abruptly changes direction and seems to go off on some kind of crusade to educate the world about the dangers of video games on impressionable young boys. At that point, the film loses its momentum and the violence which ensues appears senseless and gratuitous.
There are some similarities of style with Kassovitz's earlier film, La Haine. However, whereas that film seemed to have a fairly clear statement to make, Assassin(s) does not and appears ambiguous and confused. As a result, what could easily have been a very powerful and successful film will probably be remembered as a rather confused film revelling in violence - not unlike the computer games that it seems to revile.
However, it has a very serious violence (no action, pure raw and disgusting violence) with enough good taste to avoid blood all over the lenses (but not less shocking), and compared to the Oliver Stone movie, it is a lot better and really delivers the message.
All three main characters are marginal people. One of them a dying drug addict killer, the other two are nobodies trying to find a way in life. I do not think that every lost person in the world could become a killer or a psychopath; but there are not bad candidates either. The concept of TV generating violence, is not new and hardly arguably, but the way it is presented, without any poetry or sympathy makes the point better than any other movie on the subject.
Conclusion; this is not a commercial movie. It is the type of film you see when you are looking for something deep that makes your brain work. Overall, you will probably dislike it, which is a good reason to give it a try.
Mathieu Kassovitz is in great shape in this film. In addition to ensuring a solid direction, he also makes one of the main characters, namely Max. Nothing to point out from negative. The actor was able to give the character a look of ingenuity and inexperience that fit well with the situation and with Wagner, a more cunning and sinister character, who was well interpreted by veteran Michell Seraut.
Forget any notion of ethics and morals. The film is very amoral and does not mind trampling our most elementary concepts of society. It tries to point out blame for the clumsiness of our society, the inherent rot of humanity, bad television entertainment and the influence of mass communication. This is something that leaves us totally out of our comfort zone, coupled with the virtual absence of female characters and ultimately a bit disconcerting.
I personally enjoyed this movie, although it is not an easy movie for everyone. There are many artistic elements here, and I particularly liked some camera angles and shooting effects. But it lacks a solid moral background that allows people to like the film more.
i thought the older teen character too old and boring for the role, .The old man was good.
the dance club scene was the best
i red onother reviewer that said movie was booed at Cane festival. When i disagree to such behavior, this movie definitely is not a contender as it absurd feel and lack of impressive acting /story/scenes / film didn't add up positively in my overall impression. but you may like it.
That is the main point. The movie is by far too gloomy. Cinema cannot be an Art for the Art's sake, it definitely has to do with entertainment. People go to the movies hoping to get out relieved from such concerns as screen violence & social issues. These people are not only fat-brained teens starving for action blockbusters, it would be wrong to think entertainment is for low-educated masses. People want laughs (mostly), thrills (escape from the dull), scares (not too scary though)... but they do not want a distressing movie.
Hence Assassin(s) does not cater for a large audience. I found it great despite its darkness because I am sensitive to its top class directorial and writing skills. Yet the poor marketing skills make it a somewhat suicidal experience for a young director and fortunately Kassovitz has been granted the expensive privilege of learning directly from his mistakes. Just hoping Les Rivières Pourpres brought him back his self-confidence to avoid out-of-the-box happy endings in the future.
Actually the hero is like a zombie,he resembles some robot from a vague video game ,the stringman being the old man .Television is omnipresent,with its stupid games,its series -although "Colombo" is not that much violent-,its Japanese cartoons and its commercials.The old killer's "moral" would go like this :"everybody,politicians,journalists,military men,cops et al are criminals ,so why not me?" .We are not far from Docteur Petiot's ideas -another Michel Serraut's part a few years before.
Drawn out affair that has its good moments. However, it falls prey to its own desperate need to be socially relevant. TV desensitizes, we get it. Media is bad. We don't need to stare at a character staring at a television for five minutes straight.
Some twit actually said this film ends in an "orgy of violence." I'd like to know what film the pretentious dork was watching.
Also, what is the deal with this film basically being two films? It's like they decided to switch the main actor halfway and start over.
A somewhat decent drama that overstays its welcome, it would've been better were it edited down by a third.
The film is about an old contract killer who teaches his job to a young boy and who wants him, eventually, to take over the business. This isn't a very entertaining movie, its pretty hard to watch, it's violent, horrifying and it has a total lack of humor. It is inspired a lot by : "C'est arrivé près de chez vous " (Man Bites Dog), which was a much better film with a lot more humor. The movie wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either...let's just say it was good.