Assassin Club


‘…feels a lot like last decade’s model in terms of kick-ass thrills and espionage intrigue…’

Yikes! If you only see one film about a universe populated by professional assassins, you probably don’t need me to direct you towards the latest instalment of the John Wick franchise; the Keanu Reeves action flicks have set a high bar for genre action, and while Luc Besson veteran Camille Delamarre’s thriller is solidly made and produced, maybe we’ve been a bit spoiled for elevated genre fare of late. Somehow the John Wick films managed to turn the clichés inside out and come up fresh; Assassin Club just trots out the clichés, and at some length.

If Snake Eyes was Henry Golding’s application to play James Bond, then Assassin Club is his green-ink angry Karen follow-up, complaining that his first effort wasn’t properly dealt with. Golding plays Morgan, a super-spy assassin who kicks ass under the direction of mysterious handler Caldwell (Sam Neill). Caldwell gives Morgan one last job before the agent can settle down with his infant-school teacher girlfriend, who is currently unaware of his real profession despite her partner regularly hiding various bullet wounds in his torso. But that job, to kill off seven other assassins and mail one finger back to a Parisian PO box for identification, proves more complicated that it first seems, with agent Falk (Noomi Rapace channeling Marjorie Taylor Greene) a potential antagonist…

So logic doesn’t have to be rock solid in such a fanciful film, but Assassin Club’s murky plotting is likely to cause eye-rolling amongst all but the most credulous audience. Sending single fingers back for ID leaves plenty of opportunity to bend the rules of the game; it’s not rocket science that any decent agent would be prepared to lose a digit to get the jump on their opponent by pretending to be dead, and so it proves. And for Morgan’s girlfriend to somehow evade a trained assassin, without even knowing what her boyfriend’s profession is and that espionage games are afoot, stretches what little credulity remains. Golding, Neill and Rapace are all strong performers, but pretty much every scene here feels re-constituted from another, better film.

There’s a decent chase sequence towards the end, and this might feel like more passable fare on home entertainment, but Assassin Club doesn’t feel like a strong reason to go to the flicks. The kind of sigh-inducing thriller that offers up a shot of the Eiffel Tower with the helpful caption ‘Paris, France’, this feels a lot like last decade’s Europacorp model in terms of kick-ass thrills and espionage intrigue. While not a terrible film in any way, Assassin Club has a mechanical, perfunctory nature that is rather exposed on the big screen.

Assassin Club hits UK screens on April 14th 2023. Thanks to Paramount for big-screen access.


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  1. Remember kids, if you get detention and make up a fake “Breakfast Club”, you’ll turn into a loser and end up cutting off your fingers later in life. Make the right choice now. Don’t get detention…

  2. I would usually go for this kind of movie, especially with Noomi in it, but Henry Golding just puts me off, and even the trailer looks like I’ll be disappointed with it (as did Operation Fotune, which I was really looking forward to) let alone your review. So a sad nope, I’ll wait for Wick.

    • Maybe I oversold OF, apologies for wasting your time. But yes, Golding needs a re-invention, and this is John Wick without John Wick….

      • O.F was OK, loved the main characters, can’t really put my finger on what didn’t work for us, but we fetlt it was kind of a poor man’s Mission Impossible/James Bond. Wick is the benchmark now for action movies I guess, and it’s a high bar to reach.

        • OF was more than passable, but agree that it was too much like Red Notice, Gray Man and various other big budget, low-originality stuff. Wick is the master…

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