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This was absolutely the WORST movie ever made in Holland and I've seen
all! Being Dutch myself, I am ashamed that this "videoclip-type" movie was
made with a lot of Dutch effort (actors, production and ofcourse
The story and the acting are so bad and corny that I first thought they made it as an experimental joke. But they MEANT it! Especially the way that this movie was advertised really annoyed me once I saw the finished product. This was supposed to be a movie that would blow us away and it was supposed to be a rollercoaster-ride of action... We were deceived: the plot is worse than a standard action-movie, the blue filter on the images and the weird experimental imaging gives you a headache, and the biggest stunt in Soul Assassin is when Skeet Ullrich rides his bicycle(!) into a canal...! Need I say more...? The director (Laurence Malkin) used to make MTV-videos for rapper Coolio and it SHOWS! My advice: DON'T bother renting this one, you'll kick yourself after if you DO!
Accomplishing what I had thought impossible, this film moves from intriguing/thriller-worthy premise to absolute schlock within 5 minutes of the opening credits. No story. No characters. No acting. Dubious cinematography (I guess it's just a Blue, Blue World). All this matched by an ending which establishes a new standard for 'lousy'. Given that it was a free rental....I want my money back.
Beyond an absolutely brilliant performance by Skeet Ulrich as a man
trained to be a hit-man for a criminal corporation, there's not much to
recommend this film. It's not as terrible as some reviewers remarked -
beneath the flashy visuals lies a rather old-fashioned suspense
thriller. Unfortunately, the producers were clearly shopping for
another "Bourne Identity", and the director, probably a meth-addict,
had watched too many John Woo films. I mention this because while I
watched the bicycle chase stunts - all too clearly created by the
editor rather than the stunt crew - I thought of Jackie Chan's
marvelous bike chase in "Project A" and thought to myself, 'gee, that's
what this movie needs - Jackie Chan, not John Woo'. But John Woo is the
influence here, and since Woo is an arch-stylist, to imitate him you
have to have a real schmaltzy but original plot going on beneath the
style; and while this film has the schmaltz, it has no originality to
speak of. There are glaring references to Hitchcock and Stanley Donen,
Samuel Fuller's "Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street" and an obscure
thriller based on an Alistair MacLean novel, "Puppet on a Chain" -
glaring because the originals were so much better and certainly don't
need this sort of 'tribute'.
I won't say this is a bad thriller; some will find it entertaining enough. But it pretends to be so much more - what a disappointment.
Being a big fan of Dutch movies, I really looked forward to watch this
with so many Dutch actors in it.
For me it was very disappointing, and not only because seeing so many Dutch guys speak English to each other. The many plot holes, the music-video style of filming, the blue filter, the loud music, the pitch-changing of the film, it was just too much.
This movie is trying to be something so hard that it doesn't succeed at all. What a waste of talent...
If there is a new type of film genre, maybe it should be film bleu, as is
the case with this movie. First time director Laurence Malkin must be
credited with the idea. He has given the film a blue tint in its entirety.
The film tries to do too many things and the plot is a puzzle if one doesn't
pay close attention. Also, at times, it feels like a rock video without
The film shot entirely in Holland moves at a fast pace. Like other thrillers, this one delivers for those people seeking instant gratification in watching it. Sometimes one wonders how can these people in the action scenes survive being shot at with high powered rifles. On the other hand, the scene at the hotel where Kevin's girlfriend dies, is very real: this is what happens to people when they are killed.
The hero, Skeet Ulrich, is put through a lot in the film. Of course, he survives with only a few scratches after what is done to him, otherwise there wouldn't be a film at all, would it? The bad guys are more interesting. The Dutch actors are very good and the backdrop is Rotterdam, with a few detours to Amsterdam and Uttrecht, posing as the first city.
Derek de Lint plays with gusto. Would have loved to have seen more of Rena Owens, the great New Zealand actress, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. And finally, Nicholas Irons, can't deny he is Jeremy's son. What an uncanny resemblance!
In Rotterdam, when Kevin Burke (Skeet Ulrich) is promoted to chief of
security of a multinational investment bank, he goes to a hotel with
his girlfriend, the executive of the bank Rosalind Bremmond (Katherine
Lang), to celebrate and propose her to marry him. However, Rosalind is
murdered in the room, and blind of rage, Kevin looks for revenge
following the guidance of his chief and mentor Karl Jorgensen (Derek de
"Soul Assassin" is a horrible movie, indeed a festival of clichés. The story is totally unbelievable and amazingly ridiculous; the characters are not well-developed and the viewer does not know who they are and their motives; the camera seems to be shooting a MTV video-clip; the choreography of the fights is awful, with many closes and cuts. I have seen few Dutch movies, but this one is certainly the worst. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Alma Assassina" ("Assassin Soul")
It's not easy to do, but a story that had potential simply sinks under
very, very bad direction.
In film one of the director's jobs is to tell the viewer where to look. True that. But it does not mean that he should be shouting "Look at me!" when he should be concentrating on story and characterization.
A reported $7 million goes down the toilet in developing this story of greed, jealousy, and revenge. Actors who have done very fine work in the past are simply stranded on screen. That's bad enough.
But for some reason a great chunk of the action is filmed using a blue filter over the lens. This is understandable for the exteriors at night. But it looks more than slightly stupid for scenes in, say, a living room.
The action is sped up in some scenes for no reason whatsoever. And the fight scenes are edited so incoherently that it's impossible to tell who's who are what's going on.
Watching movies directed by, say, Ed Wood can be a fun experience. Catatonic actors, cardboard sets, special effects that totally fail, it's sort of like watching the community theater group perform on the stage in the American Legion hall. You know that they're genuinely trying to do their best and it's easy to root for everyone involved.
Here, the gimmicks just seem to try to cover up undeveloped story arcs.
There is one very good thing about this, though. Director Laurence Malkin directed exactly one more movie after this, in 2006, and has not worked behind the camera since then although he has remained active in the film business. People seeking proof that God created an orderly universe need look no further.
The Name Soul Assassin has little and to obscure relevance for the actual
plotline in the film, the actors have been given nondeveloped characters
with a hollowfeeling to them.
THe plot and storyline is waterd out by an abundant reuse of fottage in
annoying flashbacks that does noting to further develop the story, and has
been spiced up with exessive gunfighting.
The so called "bad guys" are to the brink of total lack of grey brain
matter. The Director of Photography and the Director of the movie seems to
occasionally forget that it is a thriller they are shooting, and not an
musicvideo, by exessive use of stroboscopic effects and fottage that has
relevance for the movie.
The only good thing is the end, where thy desided to throw out all rules
"good vs bad guys" classic movies. Thats the only good point.
Skeet Ulrich did a better jop in Chill Factor. It is by far the wors film I have ever seen. No film that I have seen in the conspiracy genre has even been this bad, I thought that X-files the movie was bad. I now know better.
"Soul Assassin" tries to cover up the absence of substance and bucks with hyperkinetics and effects; nice try but no cigar. Shallow, transparent, contrived, and just plain stupid. Let's hope Malkin gets a real job. Pass. (D-)
This might have been watchable if it hadn't been for the director's experiments in photography-gives you a headache at times. Same crap I saw in the GET CARTER remake, and I can't stand it. All it does is make the story more muddled than it needs to be. The woman who played Karrina (Rena something or other)is sexy and fascinating, and I would've liked to see more of her, but-no(a few sexy hookers, too 8^D). Kristy Swanson and Skeet Ulrich are wasted here. Here's a newsflash-if you're going to do a film, and want to make it 'gritty'-why not just film it in black and white, instead of blue w/ one object in the screen in color? That way it might actually add something to the movie. Everything this director does has been seen before, and besides that, what he does merely serves to detract from the story. A confusing and muddled script only further contributes to disaster. I knew before I read it here that the director had done music videos, because that was what this movie feels like in spots.
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