Ron Perlman stars as Asher, an ageing hitman that is slowly coming to the end of his career. Despite struggling through illness, he decides to pair up with a younger prodigy, but when that doesn’t go as well as originally anticipated, Asher and the people he cares for become vulnerable targets themselves. Not the most remarkable of movies but on the other hand, not the worst as far as low budget New York based feature films go.
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Writers: Jay Zaretsky
Starring: Ron Perlman, Famke Janssen
As a standalone hitman flick, this probably isn’t one of the best out there, but with that being said, it’s distinctive mixture of genres most definitely makes it stand out from many of a similar mould. There is at times, a severe lack of action, but that is substituted well with the slow journey of the lonely lead character, Asher, who finds himself trying and successfully finding comfort in female companionship, showing a more human side to his personality – something many filmmakers would avoid. At times you’d even be forgiven for thinking that this was more of a romantic drama, but with the occasional assignation and fight scene thrown in, you quickly realise it’s more than just that.
In regard to the action scenes, more specifically the assassination and fight scenes, they were somewhat awkward and didn’t seem too convincing or well-choreographed. Even Ron Perlman’s performance was rather stiff and unconvincing and some of the dialogue was amateurish at best. Another thing of note was the fact that each of the female characters had striking similarities which made it difficult to distinguish between them at times. Famke Janssen found herself adopting the role of Sophie, the love interest of Asher, and did pretty well considering the rather poor script put forward to her.
Throughout the movie you definitely got the feeling that some of the slower scenes could have been sped up considerably. Especially considering the lack of backstory and very little character history that was put forward for the main characters. If the filmmakers had perhaps included some key details and events surrounding the past of the characters, then this may have been a more successful film.
To the film’s strength however, I found much of the cinematography to be really impressive and effective, especially when it came to capturing the gritty and dark underbelly of New York – a beautiful and special city that can bolster any movie.
Overall, I believe this is the type of film you can sit back and watch, purely to then gain a better-found appreciation of superior film-making skills in the same category.
“I just killed a man in the bathroom and I’m afraid that if we don’t leave now, they’re going to call the cops…”Asher – Asher