This British thriller was directed, produced and written by J. K. Amalou and edited by Will Gilbey, Toby Quickenden, St John O’Rorke.
(See trailer below for “Assassin” below:)
The film was distributed by Silver Leaf pictures in 2015, starring the following:
- Danny Dyer as “Jamie”
- Holly Weston as “Chloe”
- Martin Kemp as “Lee Alberts”
- Garry Kemp as “John Alberts”
- Anouska Mond as “Alex”
Straight after watching the trailer, I wanted to watch the film because of how tense the scenes were shown to be. I questioned whether the film was a hybrid of a action thriller due to the trailer mainly revealing the film centred around guns and violence.
On the other hand, the film poster contained elements of both the action and thriller genre…
For instance: the film poster contains a blue filter, this colour being associated with stability and depth, symbolising trust and loyalty, indicates the main character of “Assassin” has all these features and therefore is the protagonist of the film. Although, the bold red typography gives the audience the impression that the film is also about about death, murder and danger… (conventions of the thriller genre). Furthermore, suggesting that he is involved in some sort of crime with the two brothers shown either side of him in the poster. In which he rides a motorcycle with a weapon (gun) to protect himself and the woman who’s evidently in need of it.
Then after watching the film, all is revealed about the main character Jamie who is a skilled hit-man, told to kill several people by two brothers called Lee and John Alberts. However, the story focuses on him being hired to kill a man, then as he has done so, he falls in love with a woman called Chloe, not knowing that she is the daughter of the man he killed. Chloe becomes frustrated, questioning why her father died and tries solving the case with her friend Alex. They realise it has something to do with Lee and John Albert because her father had previously turned down their business idea 1 week before his murder. Fearing that he might be exposed, Jamie tells the two brothers who then order him to kill Chloe as she knows the truth. He then questions whether he can commit such a thing after he has fallen in love with her; but decides to tell her the truth that it was him who had killed her father because of John and Lee. As a result, he makes Chloe hide in his friend Paul’s house and stay low so that it makes it seem like he has killed her. But one day when John and Lee make some men follow him they see he hasn’t killed her and then sends someone after him; this is unsuccessful because Jamie kills the man instead.
Jamie and Chloe move to live in Brighton, where she tells him she is pregnant. Meanwhile, John and Lee threaten her friend Alex to tell them were Chloe is, she claims she has no idea, but ends up meeting them in their house in Brighton. Alex tells John and Lee nothing about where they are and gives the money back that was used to bribe her; John becomes extremely angry and smashes a bottle on her head. The film then goes back to Jamie and Chloe who begin to pack their bags to leave, and when outside the house Jamie stares up into the sky looking at a seagull, when Chloe is shot by two men on a motorbike. He then becomes angry and aggressive, killing all those he thought lied to him such as Alex, Lee and last of all John, who manages to shoot him in the leg, but Jamie manages to kill him by firing the last bullet directly into John’s face. To end “Assassin” is Jamie being sat in an interrogation room with two detectives and then in a prison cell where he dreams of seeing Chloe at the beach and closes his eyes.
This film had an extremely gory aspect to it, because even within the first minute of the film someone was shot by a dark mysterious figure in a helmet; shortly being revealed as Danny Dyer (“Jamie”). Which changed my belief of thriller films taking a while to get into the action of the story; so I was surprised at how quick it was to see the first murder by the hit-man, leading the audience onto assuming there will be several more kills taken place throughout the film.
But the fact the audience saw so many murders in the film, didn’t ruin the feelings of anticipation to see who was the next victim; due to the amazing editing and special effects made it seem like each murder was the first. As continuity editing emphasised the extreme of each of the character’s deaths, so the first one where Jamie walks into the room and fires many bullets at a black curtain, then swipes it across to reveal the dead man (as shown above), all happens rapidly whilst still the audience are still able to see what occurs. Therefore, making the audience feel tense and uneasy as clearly Jamie is a skilled hit-man, who kills many people for a living…
Which the use of guns as the props, add to the idea of the film being categorised as a action thriller because Jamie uses it to kill people throughout the film, reinforcing that he is a dangerous man despite him trying to protect Chloe from his employers who he had to turn against. The gun is almost a part of him that he can’t let go of; so when he kills Alex and the two brothers, it demonstrates how he has no mental stability in acknowledging the danger he has evoked due to the gun taking a mind of it’s own, overpowering him.
Furthermore, “Assassin” relates to other thriller films as the audience are made to feel suspense and terrified throughout; fearing for the lives of many characters that will inevitable be murdered by Jamie with him showing no signs of remorse whatsoever.
So when he is questioning whether he should follow his order from John and Lee Albert about killing Chloe, the audience are left with anxiety that he will do it, as previously he was killing those told by the brothers without debating on doing so.
However, when watching this particular scene I felt that I wanted to see more close up shots of his facial expressions as then it would be clear to the audience that the climax of the film is about to start; due to it being an indication of Jamie planning to run away with Chloe. Instead, there’s simply wide shots of him in the room with the gun in one hand, looking down on her asleep.
But on a positive note, I did feel agitated as I did’t know whether he had killed her because the covers were on her and he was sat looking at what I assumed to be her dead body. So when she finally woke up I was still feeling terrified because he could easily shoot and kill her. Furthermore, the film was successful in making the audience feel anticipated, uneasy, and suspenseful, all of which are conventions of the thriller genre.
It’s clear that Jamie is in love with Chloe because he chooses to protect her rather than killing her and getting paid for it, as a hit-man would do. So when he decides to leave Brighton with Chloe at the end, we feel that they will move on with their lives together, but as he daydreams she is suddenly shot by two men. As a result, the audience are left feeling sympathetic towards Jamie as he was expecting a baby (Chloe was pregnant when she was killed); he was simply picturing a carefree world when she was taken away from him. Which the use of slow motion emphasised how this idea would not happen in reality for a man who is paid to kill people. Therefore, the ending is significant in the sense that he has finally acknowledged his wrong doings and handed himself in to the police.