Soul Assassin (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Grade-B international thriller set in Amsterdam.

Skeet Ulrich plays the latest, youngest vice-president of an international personal security firm which specializes in providing bodyguards for corporate personnel stationed in lawless environments like Central Asia or Louisiana.

He's so thrilled with his promotion that he thinks it is time to pop the question to his girl, a conservative banking consultant who is not thrilled with his promotion, because she thinks his job is too creepy. He has ordered a florist to deliver some flowers with the "will you marry me?" card, but the florist seems to arrive heavily armed and promptly assassinates the girlfriend. Distraught by what he thinks is his own responsibility for her death, and frustrated by the seeming carelessness of the police, he resolves to conduct his own investigation. The investigation turns up some surprises.


Katherine Lang is topless briefly in an aborted sex scene with the Skeetmeister

It's one of those films where nothing is as it seems and the solutions are always the least likely possibilities, like the assassination actually had nothing to do with him, but was really intended to bump off the girlfriend, who was soon to be named by President Bush as the fourth member of the Axis of Evil, or something. And maybe it even turns out that Skeet isn't even Skeet. Maybe he's been raised since early childhood with subconscious programming to become the fifth member of the Axis of Evil. Or maybe the actor isn't even Skeet Ulrich. Maybe it's Johnny Depp doing a Skeet Ulrich impersonation.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Commentary by director Laurence Malkin  

  • The Making of "Soul Assassin"  

  • Cast Interviews  

  • Photo Gallery  

  • Widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85:1  

Jeez, I need a new first name, something like Skeet or Viggo.

Anyway, the film is difficult to follow, and overly stylized. More than half of it is presented through a dark blue filter. It is filled with rock video techniques: sudden speed-ups for no reason, far too many cuts, strobe effects, swooshing noises when the camera movies, wildly inappropriate background music, flashbacks within flashbacks within dreams. You know, the whole MTV drill.

It's just a poor film in general. The only thing I really was impressed by was a claustrophobic shoot-out in a narrow Amsterdam canal, in which the target was in a slow boat and the assassins were firing away from buildings on both sides.

The Critics Vote

  • 2/5



The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 4.0/10, which is deplorable, but way too high. It includes an obvious attempt to sabotage the IMDb rankings with false female identities, almost all of whom voted 10/10. A better indicator is that the top 1000 IMDb voters, who are not plants, score it 1.3 - competing for the title of the worst film ever made.
  • film festival circuit, brief mini-release, then to home vid


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, E. Highly irritating in its attempts to be hip, and really not worth the effort required to watch it.

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