Assassination Tango

Bomb Rating: 

I would really, really like Robert Duvall to limit his employment to acting. Now, I'm not saying he's a good actor, but comparing his skills as an actor to his skills as a writer/director is like comparing wine to warm, lung-chunky phlegm. "The Apostle" was one of the most overrated, tedious films in recent memory (on the level of "Leaving Las Vegas" bad) and "Assassination Tango" isn't much better. If Duvall can improve on his next effort, somebody might hire him to write and direct the return of the "Police Academy" movies. It would be a step up.

There's just something wrong here. First of all, there's not enough story for a film. John J. Anderson (Robert Duvall) is an assassin who goes to Argentina for a job and falls in love with the tango. There's so much space between the action that it's like waiting for a bus that never comes. Of course, this sort of thing happens all the time. Some directors fill that space with clever character interactions or interesting dialogue. Duvall fills it with the sort of stuff that other directors leave on the cutting room floor. It's pretty much like Duvall the director and Duvall the writer just instructed everyone, including Duvall the actor, to sit around and make crap up.

Indeed, the dead space in the movie consists almost entirely of characters sitting around mumbling. Duvall is just a step from writing the "ums" into his script. Frankly, I think they could have retitled this film "The Retarded Café" because that's what I started to think of as Anderson and his Argentine dance partner, Manuela (Luciana Pedraza), sat around and chatted.

Ultimately, there's absolutely no point to the movie. Duvall, who's known to like dancing, just wanted to make a film where he could dance some. I hope he got his fix because he's the only person for whom this movie served any purpose at all.

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