Monday, December 13, 2010

Hired to Kill (1990)

Nico Mastorakis, a name almost everyone connects to the infamous Island of Death from 1977. Which is a pity, because Mastorakis had a long career after that with fine exploitation movies – often filled with action, nudity and better production values than anyone could expect with the budgets he worked with. The last movie he made was the interesting and extremely stylish .com for murder (2002), but today I’m gonna tell you a little about Hired to Kill!

Brian Thompson, the bad guy from tons of movies, is Frank Ryan – the hero! He’s a mercenary, and the best there is. One day a shady government guy, Thomas (George Kennedy) contacts him with a new mission: to free (or kill) an imprisoned rebel leader, just to create a revolution in the little republic of Cypra. The president of this banana republic is Michael Bartos (the one and only Oliver Reed), a guy with a big moustache and an even bigger appétit for women! Which fits great into the plan, because Frank Ryan is going under-cover as a gay fashion designer and his team is five female mercenaries – ready to kill… and look sexy in that disgusting early nineties way!

Now, this is a fun movie. I can’t say it has enough action – because it lacks explosions and gunfights during the first hour. But complains is for retards. It’s still fun and charming and it’s even more fun to see Brian Thompson play a good guy for once. He resembles Arnold in some scenes, but with better acting of course. Mastorakis delivers a very stylish and slick production which has great cinematography by Andreas Bellis, which captures explosions on the sunny island perfectly. When the action finally sets in, it is great b-action with lots of slow-mo, explosions and a high body count (with a generous amount of bloody squibs). Brian Thompson is wonderful with weapons and kills with charm and talent. Why didn’t they make a sequel to this one?

The last half hour is the best, with all it’s action and mayhem – but after that, I would say Oliver Reed – who only looks slightly drunk – is a pleasure to see as the obese dictator. In one of the more famous scenes in the movie Frank Ryan need to prove to the dictator that he’s gay… and delivers a long, juicy… ah, you can see it down there:

And with that I’ll finish this review!

P.S. The old UK release from Hollywood DVD is excellent, in anamorphic widescreen and with a sharp and nice picture.


Vallaor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vallaor said...

Wow, I've never imagined Brian Thompson as a hero! And even less - Oliver Reed being kissed by the guy!!! This movie is a must see!

Ninja Dixon said...

I know, it's cool to see him kick bad guys ass for once :) I like the guy a lot, even more after this movie.

Anonymous said...

Can´t believe how terrible Reeds career was at the end. He was top notch one upon a time. A faboulos actor.

cozzi said...

I just love the opening scene to that movie. A groggy Brian Thompson blowing his alarm clock away with a giant handgun ;)

Alex B. said...

You have a good point here,
Mastorakis has had an interesting career. He did a pretty cool movie with Wings Hauser called 'Edge of Terror'.
But to be honest I couldn't watch 'Hired to Kill'through to the end.
However, since Brian Thompson is cool, I might try again one day.