09th Jun2020

‘Assassin’s Target’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jimena Gala, Ben Vinnicombe, James Giblin, Karina Matas Piper, Maarten Swaan, Gilles Gambino, Alika Del Sol, Mat Cruz | Written and Directed by Gilles Gambino

Rosa is a unassuming woman who is also a master assassin with a knack for poisons wants out of her line of work. Given the opportunity for one last big job before being “allowed” to leave her organisation, she sets out on a search and destroy mission against a spiritual leader who hacks TV signals to preach his word and threaten the world, but conflicts within her own organisation may spell disaster for her long before she ever closes in on her target.

If I tell you that this film was originally released under the title of The Vibe, then released in May 2019 as Impossible Mission before getting a re-release this year as Assassin’s Target, you should realise that this is a movie that even the distributors can’t settle on a theme for. Is this a espionage thriller with religious overtones? Is it an action-packed espionage thriller a la Mission Impossible? Or is it another female lead action thriller in the vein of La Femme Nikita and Atomic Blonde?

Now I’m a huge fan of the latter. There have been some fantastic bad-ass action films with female leads: from recent movies such as Atomic Blonde, The Villainess and Peppermint, to lesser-seen films like Running Delilah, And Now You’re Dead and Code Name Phoenix, to classics like La Femme Nikita. And it would seem writer/director Gilles Gambino is clearly aiming at films such as these with this movie. Though honestly, I’m not sure what the finished product actually is but it is… different.

Different in that, for a thriller about a terrorist being hunted by a deadly assassin, Assassin’s Target spends way too much time on talking heads and exposition – telling the audience what’s going on rather than showing them. And when writer/director Gambino does try and use action instead of words he screws it up by punctuating everything with a truly terrible soundtrack, which does more to annoy the viewer than guide them through the films more suspenseful portions – oftentimes the music not even tallying up to whats happening on screen.

Lead actress Jimena Gala is the films biggest “problem” however… She’s just too good for the role! In scene after scene she offers an empathic, emotional performance (as all troubled hitwomen should be, right?) whereas the rest of the cast deliver wooden one-note performances, some even feeling like the actors are reading from cue cards off-screen! Gala, despite this being her first credited feature film role, out classes and outshines everyone here and its such a shame to see such an enigmatic performer relegated to such dross.

The central concept, of people fighting against the current political and sociological status quo SHOULD make for an interesting conspiracy thriller and it probably would have in more experienced hands. As it stands now Assassin’s Target is just dull, with writer and director Gilles Gambino focusing more on the mundane than the exciting. Which means this film is probably set to disappoint people looking for a bad-ass chick kicking arse in an action movie – like I was.

Assassin’s Target is out now on VOD from High Octane Pictures.

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