Assassination Tango

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating:Rated R language and violence 
Starring: Robert Duvall 
Directed By:Robert Duvall 

Final Grade: 

Years ago someone came up with the phrase dancing with death, but the phrase doesn’t actually mean the person is actually dancing. Well at least not until now. Over the last few weeks two films dealing with dancing and death have stepped out from the Hollywood shadow. One of these flicks is Assassination Tango.

Robert Duvall returned to the big screen as a writer and director in his new flick titled, Assassination Tango. Duvall also played the main role in the flick, playing the peat of John J, an aging hit man who is hired to kill a general. But when the general John is sent to kill becomes hospitalized, John must wait it out in a foreign city. John’s interest in the artistic form of dance leads him to finding a love for a new style of dace, the tango, and he begins to fall for a young tango dance expert. But when the general returns to his home and John must finish the job that he came to do, John’s profile and the “life” he had been living in his home away from home comes crashing down around him.

I’d like to praise this film a great deal, but in all honesty the film just had too many flaws in my mind to be a truly great film worth noting. The storyline drug at an increasingly slower and slower pace, and the end result really wasn’t that climatic at all. Mix that in with an unconvincing performance Luciana Pedra just proved to be more of a bore in the end rather than entertainment. Pedra who is Duvall’s real life love interest, showed a spark of decent acting when she was on the screen with Duvall, but in the end she just didn’t do it for me. Duvall, who normally does an outstanding job, also slacks in this one and all in all didn’t impress me as much as he normally does.

As for Duvall’s writing and directing I felt he was lacking in that department as well. Duvall’s writing left plenty of loopholes and overall boredom in this supposed “art flick.” The comparison of the assassination attempt and the dance of the tango was overused and in the end almost beaten into your head with a giant metaphorical stick that becomes more of an annoyance than anything else.

Now before everyone thinks that everything about this flick was a complete waste, I want to stress that what it lacks in other areas, it makes up for cinematically. The cinematography makes the picture an over all visual success. There were many sequences that were beautifully shot and showed off the artistic style and feel that Duvall was trying to accomplish.

If you are the type of filmgoer who enjoys flicks because of cinematography and “style” then this flick might be something worth checking out. But if you are the average film viewer, don’t rush to the box offices to check this one out. In the end you are going to be sadly disappointed in this flick. It just lags way too much to be a totally enjoyable experience for everyone. I’d like to say that Duvall served up another success, but in the end this one is going to be quickly buried in a pile of flicks that tried way too hard to be something special, and in the end just missed the mark. 

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