A lonesome stranger with nerves of steel must track down and kill a rogue hitman to satisfy an outstanding debt. But the only information he’s been given is a time and location where to find his quarry. No name. No description. Nothing.
- The Mentor: Anthony Hopkins
- The Virtuoso: Anson Mount
- The Waitress: Abbie Cornish
- Johnnie’s Girlfriend: Diora Baird
- The Loner: Eddie Marsan
- The Deputy: David Morse
- Handsome Johnnie: Richard Brake
- The Motel Clerk: Chris Perfetti
- Background: Lory Molino
- Camaro Girl: Shay Guthrie
- Young Woman: Estelle Girard Parks
- The Mom: Jenna Hellmuth
- Pedestrian: Basil Kershner
- Camaro Punk: Ryan Jonze
- Dude / Victim: Blaise Corrigan
- Casting: Diane Heery
- Director of Photography: Frank Prinzi
- Production Design: Norman Dodge
- Casting: Jason Loftus
- Producer: Nick Stagliano
- Writer: James C. Wolfe
- Casting: Stephanie Holbrook
- Music: Brooke Blair
- Music: Will Blair
- Script Supervisor: Bruce Resnik
- Costume Design: Rita Squitiere
- Editor: James Lesage
- Art Direction: Timothy W. Stevens
- First Assistant Director: Karim Nabil
- JPV852: Has some interesting elements but “The Virtuoso” (how Anson Mount’s character is credited) is kind of an idiot for being some kind of world-class hitman (not sure why he’d take an assignment to some tiny town with no name or picture of his target), plus his monotone narration can lull you to sleep if you’re not careful.
Anthony Hopkins was mailing it in as most stars of his ilk tend to do with these direct-to-video films (and majority of scenes take place in a dark office), but nice to see Abbie Cornish in all her glory… IDK, it’s not at all terrible but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either.
I can see what the writers and director was going for, just didn’t work all that well. **2.5/5**
- Wuchak: _**“Are you an assassin?” “I’m a soldier.” “You’re neither.”**_
A professional assassin (Anson Mount) is given an ambiguous gig in a small town in the Poconos. Can he get the job done with as little collateral damage as possible? Anthony Hopkins plays his boss, Abbie Cornish a waitress and David Morse a deputy.
“The Virtuoso” (2021) is a neo-noir crime drama/thriller with a Tarantino bent. Films with criminal protagonists don’t usually interest me unless there’s angle of redemption or some other intriguing aspect. “Death Wish,” “The Punisher” and “Taken” are exceptions because the central character isn’t really a criminal, but rather a (anti)hero on a mission of justice denied by the system.
This is a well-made neo-noir with an interesting second person narration. It doesn’t focus on eye-rolling action scenes and explosions every five minutes, but rather the assassin figuring out the mission, executing it (no pun intended) and surviving. Unfortunately the gross contrivances of the script emerge in the last act and it’s impossible to suspend disbelief, as they say. I get the message of the film, but what do I care? Assassins who heartlessly murder people simply to make a good living are criminal scumbags and should be executed themselves.
Still, the heavy mood is to die for, the psychology of a professional assassin is well written, Mount makes for a great masculine protagonist, Abbie is jaw-dropping in a curvy way, the second-person narration is effective and the locations & score are superb.
The movie runs 1 hour, 50 minutes, and was shot in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the Poconos, as well as Santa Ynez, California, which is about an hour’s drive west of Malibu.