I like assassins, always wanted to be one. The idea of impersonally killing people for money sits well with me. And, while we could all write books about what “might have been,” I live in Hollywood and can sometimes write screenplays that bring a blurry version of what “might have been” to reality. Such was the case with Assassins. Too bad I didn’t direct it.

There are all kinds of Rated-R movies, hard ones, soft ones, and fucking pussy ones, which is what Assassins turned out to be. I’m not sure what the thought process was, but this movie about killing people had less death in it than Forrest fucking Gump, and that is embarrassing.

We get introduced to Old American Assassin as he walks a marked fellow out into the woods. Instead of shooting the guy in the head like, oh I don’t know, an assassin, he honors the man’s request and allows him to take his own life. So, just to make sure we all understand, our protagonist’s assassin credentials are immediately undermined in an effort to make him more likable. Jesus fucking Christ do I miss the 80’s.

The movie gives him another chance to kill someone, but he blows that too. The target is attending a funeral so Old American Assassin shows up as a mourner with a broken arm. Inside the neato cast his hand is actually holding onto a gun. Right when he’s about to kill the old bastard, the old bastard gets someone else’s bullet stuck in his head. The assassin looks around, frantically trying to find the guy who beat him to the punch. When he sees a fella wearing TWO casts on his arms, he knows he has his man.

This new guy is Young Mexican Assassin. He’s been brought in to replace Old American Assassin because OAA is too slow and he never actually kills anyone. The young upstart is fast, lethal, and willing to work for five cents an hour. Hope you took a picture of your last paycheck, America.

OAA goes after YMA to stop him from taking all his jobs. Deep down, he knows he may have to kill this guy and that scares him. They recklessly chase each other through the streets of California. Poor Old American Assassin. If he only knew how many people he accidentally ran over during the chase, his confidence might have improved. “See? When you’re pushed, killing’s easy as breathin! Just now you ran over a lady pregnant with twins! YOU did! Just believe in yourself, little buddy!” But, of course, that doesn’t happen, and after losing Young Mexican Assassin, his confidence in killing people is lower than ever. He starts thinking, “Maybe I’m in the wrong line of work.”

He goes home and opens his computer to find yet another chance to kill someone. Realizing it may be his last chance ever, he dedicates himself to getting it right. That resolve lasts just long enough to see a picture of his target: a fine-ass redhead. His pecker does the thinking for him, “Not only am I not killing that, but I’m gonna make sure no one else does either.”

So he travels to Seattle to save the girl’s life. He’s knows it’s going to be tough because Young Mexican Assassin has probably been put on the case as well, and he’s quickly becoming a notorious non-pussy about killing people (off-screen).

Once he meets her, he knows he’s made the right choice because she’s even more beautiful in person. She has a cat, and it turns out that she’s one of these girls that only like men their cats approve of. The assassin pets the cat. She purrs and rubs against his hand. He is IN. They mess around a little, but then he remembers an old adage: “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” With this in mind he tells her, “I should teach you how to fish so we can have more sex when we get outta this.” She looks at him, puzzled. “Out of what?” she asks. “Oh yeah,” he slaps his forehead. “People are coming here to kill you. Let’s finish up and hurry outta here!”

He buys them a little time by taking the room numbers off all the doors. When Young Mexican Assassin shows up, he’s not sure where to go, so he has to travel room to room asking every occupant if he or she is a fine-ass redhead computer nerd with a cat. None of them are, and YMA curses himself for how “had” he’s just “been”.

He gets on AOL to speak with his employer in private. The employer tells him about Old American Assassin’s conversion to the dark side of the assassination force. He is protecting her, and right now they are at a bank so she can procure his fee. “Fee? She’s paying him?” YMA asks. “In a manner,” AOL tells him. “They are in love, and he’s unemployed. That fine-ass redhead is now a fine-ass sugar momma.” AOL give him the bank address. “Kill them both. Then learn to play online chess cause I love it.” A cold shiver runs down YMA’s spine. His father was killed by chess. How far is he willing to go to be an assassin? Will he trade in his soul? Well, on his way to the bank he stops at Border’s to pick up a Spanish version of 1,001 Classic Opening Moves, so I guess the answer is yes.

While at the bank, Old American Assassin gets a very troubling AOL message from his previous employer: “Checkmate.” He tells the redhead that they can’t leave yet because the Young Mexican Assassin must be perched across the street, waiting to snipe them. She asks him how he knows that. “I’m a shitty assassin and it’s the opposite of what I would do.”

“What would you do?”

“Line the entrance with banana peels and hope for the best.”

He’s right, though. YMA is sitting across the street with a sniper rifle. He cannot move from the spot until the job is done. This leads to the movies most embarrassing moment as the young upstart realizes he didn’t go the bathroom beforehand and has to poop on the floor. Then he realizes he didn’t bring any food and he has to…do some stuff that wasn’t in the script I wrote.

Most movies have action packed climaxes. This movie has a sit-and-wait climax. Twenty movie minutes pass before the new assassin’s youthful impatience gets the better of him. He leaves his perch and enters the bank to have a talk with Old American Assassin. “Please leave the bank! I’m begging you! I’m bored out of my mind! Please please please please please please pleeeeeease!” Old American Assassin just shakes his head, no. In a huff filled with Spanish curse words, the upstart heads back to his bullshit perch.

But something amazing happens. As he crosses the busy street, he slips on a banana peel and gets ran over by a semi truck transporting chess boards to Toys ‘R Us. Since he’s the only other assassin in the world, Old American Assassin and Fine-ass Redhead are saved and out of danger forever. The end. The pissed off audience waits through the credits in hopes for some kind of salvage for the bullshit they just paid for. An arbitrary striptease sequence. Nick Fury. Anything at all. But instead they get the opposite of anything: nothing. Collectively, they hatch a plan to assassinate the film’s writer and director, and accomplish half their mission before getting caught and sent to the chair one at a time.

(three stars)