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Assassin(s) (1997)

Old professional killer Wagner seeks someone to teach what he knows as long as he is already dying, and he chooses Max, young and passionless thief to be his successor.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mr. Wagner
...
Max
Mehdi Benoufa ...
Mehdi
Robert Gendreu ...
Mr. Vidal
Danièle Lebrun ...
Max's Mother
François Levantal ...
Inspector
Karim Belkhadra ...
Watchman
Roland Marchisio ...
Wood (victim)
Félicité Wouassi ...
Nurse
Nicolas Boukhrief ...
Frère de Mehdi
Donat Vidal-Revel ...
Journalist
Philippe Neunreuther ...
Luxury car (victim)
Christophe Rossignon ...
Chauffeur de voiture accident
Pascal Ondicolberry ...
Supermarket (man)
Agnès Akopian ...
Cashier 1
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Storyline

Old professional killer Wagner seeks someone to teach what he knows as long as he is already dying, and he chooses Max, young and passionless thief to be his successor. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Toute societe a les crimes qu'elle merite.

Genres:

Drama | Crime

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Details

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Release Date:

17 May 1997 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Assassino(s)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mathieu Kassovitz developed this movie from his third short film, Assassins... (1992), which also told the story of a youth who gets a lesson in murder by a professional assassin. However, the title of the two-hour version was changed to "Assassin(s)" because of the Richard Donner film Assassins (1995) that came out between the two. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits there's a brief coda showing Mr. Wagner and Mehdi arguing while sitting on a park bench. See more »

Connections

Features Tenchi Muyô! (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Aging assassin trains his replacements
24 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Assassin(s)" (1997) is a neo-noir and a "hit-man" movie. There are at least 250 serious major movies that have a hit-man as the main character and many minor movies. Michel Serrault plays a murderer for money here. His performance may remind one of his past work in "The Hatter's Ghost" (1982) and "Dr. Petiot" (1990). In all three cases, Serrault is totally convincing and builds an on screen character from a good script. This movie is written and directed by the then 30-year old Mathieu Kassovitz, and he has a major role as a successor assassin to the ailing Serrault, who brings him into the "trade" forcefully.

The movie stresses the place of televised violence on the culture and vice versa, that is, the televised violence is an expression of the evolution of the culture. A number of facets of the violence are shown via television screens, such as cartoons, survival of wild animals in the wild, games of war, and sadistic/ultra-violent sex that's worthy of de Sade. One can posit an intensification of exposure to successive generations. Serrault as the nihilistic professional gives way to a none-too-intelligent student in Kassovitz who himself generates a recruit (Mehdi Benoufa) who has even fewer scruples.

The movie generates a coldly criminal tone in quite a few places and becomes an indictment of a culture in which even this very movie would be made and sell tickets.

Because Serrault was indoctrinated by his father, also a contract killer, we are left with the impression that evil behavior is transmitted for gain and through training, with the role of active choice being somewhat downgraded. Once one has killed or been made to kill a first victim, the rest come easily. The idea is that the young and those who are weaker willed are directed in the direction of killing. This is a reasonable supposition. Young people who voluntarily go off to war or participate in killing state-designated enemies follow this tradition-bound indoctrination amid other limited opportunities.


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