Assassins

* * 1/2*

A rather simple story with dollops of gripping action. Sylvester Stallone is an aging professional killer, haunted by guilt and doubts, on the verge of retiring. Antonio Banderas is the number two assassin, who will kill to be number one. Julianne Moore is their mark, a surveillance expert who has discovered a diskette of important information. That's pretty much all the plot and character development you need to know, and about all that Assassins gives. The rest of the film serves as padding between action scenes. However, the action scenes are rather good...particularly an early chase scene where both assassins occupy the same cab, although on opposite sides of bulletproof glass. The biggest problem with the film is that all the characters seem to occupy a morally middle ground. There's not much to differentiate the good guys from the bad. Stallone is a ruthless assassin, but he feels remorse, so he must be a good guy. Moore infiltrates all her neighbors' apartments with hidden cameras, but she's anti-fur, so she must be all right. Now, Banderas is efficient and ruthless, showing neither remorse nor compassion, so he must be bad. Oh well, simply put any and all moral concerns beside you, and you can enjoy the action. (WB)

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