Action Movie Fanatix Review: Assassination

Assassination banner

They Were Reluctant Running Mates
…In A Race For Their Lives!

Starring: Charles Bronson, Jill Ireland, Stephen Elliott, Jan Gan Boyd, Randy Brooks, Erik Stern, Michael Ansara, William Prince

Director: Peter Hunt

1987  |  88 Minutes  |  PG-13

“Oh boy, am I going to miss Nancy Reagan.” – Jay Killian

I have been trying to build my Charles Bronson knowledge base since I never really watched his movies growing up like I did with all my other action heroes.

Secret Service Agent Jay Killian (Charles Bronson) has been assigned to protect difficult, pampered first lady, Lara Royce Craig (Jill Ireland).  Ruthless assassins are after her so “Killi” must track down just who would want to hurt her, all the while keeping her from actually being hurt.

Assassination has an incredibly silly story but there are some fun moments that *sort of* make up for it.

The First Lady is horrible.  Not Jill Ireland’s acting, it is the character of Lara Royce Craig.  If anything, it is probably pretty accurate to how a real first lady is.  She is completely unlikable.  You will wish for her death but *SPOILER ALERT* it ain’t comin’.  That probably wouldn’t have left much for the remainder of the movie.  And Killi keeps calling her “One Mama” which kind of made me chuckle a couple times.

Charles Bronson is his usual self with a little bit more humor, which was a nice change of pace after watching movies like Death Wish, The Mechanic and Mr. Majestyk (although all three are superior movies).  He actually pulls off the humor quite well.  And, we already know he can pull off the action.

The action in Assassination isn’t the best we have ever seen out of Bronson but it has its moments.  My favorite “YES!!!” moment was when one of the bad guys ghost-rides a speed boat full of C-4 toward the house that the first lady is staying in.  It is moments like this that take a bland action movie and keep it in your memory for years to come.

Assassination is a little slower pace than most action movies from that time or now.  There are short bursts of action and, really, they are pretty sweet.  It is unfortunate that it feels special when we get to see real explosions on screen rather than CG ‘splosions now a days.

Assassination was an attempt to bring Charles Bronson’s style of action to an 80s paced movie but it never came close to matching its 1987 counterparts like Robocop or Predator and it is no where near one of Bronson’s best but luckily there is enough here to still have a good time… as long as you can stomach the First Lady.

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