Brian Thompson (Dragonheart)
Oliver Reed (Gladiator)
George Kennedy (The Naked Gun)
Jose Ferrer (Dune)
Michelle Moffett (Deathstalker IV)
Barbara Niven (A Perfect Ending)
Jordana Capra (The Visitants)
Penelope Reed (Amazons)
If you watch as many Direct-to-Video Low-Budget action movies as I do, then you know that a majority of them are just alright. Some end up being forgettable, some end up being just plain terrible, and then some will just blindside you out of nowhere and end up being amazing. This is one of those films. Brian Thompson plays Frank Ryan, a mercenary who’s hired to sneak into South America and rescue an imprisoned rebel leader. To do this, he must go undercover as a gay fashion designer, and will have to hire and train 7 women to be both models and assassins to be able to pull this job off. You’ll know in the first 5 minutes whether this film is your cup of tea or not, because right off the bat, it’s blatantly absurd in a very cheesy late 80’s/early 90’s kind of way. None of it is on purpose either, it’s all done straight in a legitimate way, which makes it all the more amazing and hilarious. If you’re into this kind of thing, then Hired to Kill delivers on every level. It’s a film that, while a bit goofy, fires on all cylinders to deliver exactly the kind of action film experience that I just love to death; cheese, action, explosions, nudity, one-liners, awesome and unintentionally hilarious.Brian Thompson just rules so hard in this. From his very first second of screen time, which is literally the very first image of the film, he exudes a cool, tough guy, machismo that is a bit ridiculous, yet so unintentionally silly and hilarious. He seems to just really hate women in general, and because of this, his character is fascinatingly entertaining in an overly macho way, like he’s overcompensating for something. It’s highly amusing, and Brian Thompson sells it like nobody else does. It’s really a shame he never got the chance to do more films like this as an action star. If this film proves anything, it’s that Thompson should have been given more opportunities like this other than typically playing a villain.I’d never heard of Greek writer/director Nico Mastorakis before this. It seems though that he was a pretty busy guy, throwing out a good 2-3 films per year during the 80’s and 90’s. I think what surprised me a bit was that he didn’t just stick to action. Comedy seemed to be a genre he constantly came back to, as well as horror and thrillers. Yet, if this film is any indication, action seemed to be his calling. As I look into them all though, it seems the “quality” of his work varied greatly from film to film, as is usually the case with these type of filmmakers. There’s so much to love about this film. Not only does it deliver on the action, but just the premise alone, about training 7 women to become assassins, and heading into South America under the false pretense that they’re famous fashion models, is just ridiculously awesome. There are moments that the film is just so absurd, that they apparently didn’t stop and think how plausible any of it would be.
Hired to Kill has everything you could want in a film like this; nudity, tons of action, explosions, one-liners that rival the best of Schwarzenegger, an absurd but highly enjoyable premise. It’s a nonstop ride of nonsense, cheesy fun, action-packed and entertaining as hell. It’s exactly the type of film you hope it will be.