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Assassins is a 1995 action film written by the Wachowski brothers and Brian Helgeland, directed by Richard Donner, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore.

Plot details

Robert Rath (Stallone) is a paid assassin who wants nothing more than to get out of 'the business', haunted by the memory of murdering his own mentor Nicolai years ago. Rath is a quiet, morose professional who is on an assignment to kill someone when someone else gets to the 'mark' (the target) before he does. That person turns out to be Miguel Bain (Banderas), a fellow assassin and a competitive psychopath. Rath then has the trouble of trying to figure out who sent Bain, the contractor offers him one last job that could financially allow him to retire - killing the four Dutch buyers and the computer hacker named Electra (Moore) and retrieve a disk that contains sensitive information. Electra has set up cameras in all the rooms of the apartment block were she lives and watches them like watching television.

The problem is that Bain is assigned to kill Electra as well. Bain kills the four Dutch buyers which turn out to be Interpol agents and Rath comes to kill Electra but for first time has a change of heart. His pay for the job is given to him in a briefcase in exchange for the disk. The briefcase actually contains a bomb placed by his own contractor in an attempt to kill him. Luckily Electra had swapped the disk not sure if Rath was coming back or not then the contractor hires Bain to terminate him. Now having become a target along with Electra he must try and extract enough money out of his contractor so he can disappear for good, while avoiding the bloodthirsty Bain. Rath's contractor turns out to be none other than Nicolai himself and that he hired both Rath and Bain to track down Electra and the disk.

Production details

The original spec screenplay was written by Larry and Andy Wachowski and sold for a million dollars to producer Joel Silver around the same time he bought their script for The Matrix, also for a million dollars. The script was similar to the final product, but with a more developed love story between Rath and Electra and a briefer ending without the character of Nikolai. Joel Silver offered Richard Donner $10 million to direct, but Donner insisted the script be rewritten to tone down the violence and make the central character more sympathetic and brought in Brian Helgeland, who did a page-one rewrite and earned a co-screenwriter credit. The Wachowskis attempted to remove their name from the film but were refused by the Writers Guild of America [211487]. Later, after watching Bound, Joel Silver apologized to the brothers over Assassins and offered them the chance to direct their script The Matrix.

Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Arnold Schwarzenegger were all considered for the part of Robert Rath. Christian Slater and Tom Cruise were offered the part of Miguel Bain.

The movie was shot entirely in the Seattlemarker-Tacoma-Everett metropolitan area (the Puget Sound region) of Washington State except the ending scenes in which the movie is shot in Puerto Rico. It features a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) procession crossing the streets of San Juan. This procession is mainly a Mexicanmarker tradition and is not celebrated in Puerto Rico. The movie also featured several local actors, such as Axel Anderson and Juan Manuel Lebron playing bit parts.

The Banco de Puerto Rico building featured in the movie is actually a historic casino which was previously featured in the film La Gran Fiesta.

A few years after the release, Richard Donner admitted that if he had to make the film again, he would've stuck closer to the Wachowski's original script and swapped the main leads, so that Stallone would be the reckless killer and Banderas would star as the experienced pro.

Box office

The film grossed $30.3 Million in the US and another $53.2 Million worldwide, for a total of $83.5 Million.

Cast



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