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  Hired to Kill Fast Fashion
Year: 1990
Director: Nico Mastorakis
Stars: Brian Thompson, Oliver Reed, George Kennedy, José Ferrer, Michelle Moffett, Barbara Niven, Jordana Capra, Kendall Conrad, Kim Lonsdale, Jude Mussetter, Penelope Reed, David Sawyer, Antzela Gerekou, Fanny Xidis
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The phone rings on the houseboat of mercenary Frank Ryan (Brian Thompson) but he's in no mood for calls so shoots it with his revolver. However, whoever is trying to contact him is persistent and sends someone round to pick him up, and so it is he winds up in the office of international businessman Thomas (George Kennedy) who has a deal for him. Carry out this assassination of a jailed revolutionary known only as The Brother (José Ferrer) and many thousands of dollars will be his reward; just one thing, though, Frank has to pose as a gay fashion designer...

Well, they never had to do that on The A-Team, did they? Not only is that alias part of the deal, but Frank must train a group of tough women to act like his fashion models, and also be as adept with weaponry as he is, so you know what that means, don't you? That's right, it's training montage time, the staple of action movies of the era and given over what seems like about ten minutes of screen time here. Montage fans would appreciate that there's another one later on when the girls are posing around this foreign country's beauty spots, and indeed for a good two thirds of the movie you could be beginning to wonder when the action is going to start.

This was the brainchild of Greek schlockmeister Nico Mastorakis, who had given the world the video nasty Island of Terror, and had continued in that vein for the rest of his career, or so you'd think as his other movies never gained much distribution otherwise. Here he was dabbling in the blowing stuff up real good genre, except that he apparently had a hidden message to impart to those viewers slumped in front of this with their beer and pizza on a Friday night: that staging the assassination of pioneering political figures trying to improve their nation's lot might not be such a good thing after all, and actually if you commit such subterfuge you might be on the wrong side.

Frank's love interest is Ana (Michelle Moffett), a supposed local model who is actually another insurgent in disguise who has managed to infiltrate the court of the dictator, Michael Bartos. He was played by Oliver Reed sporting a huge moustache in the sort of moody bad guy he could essay in his sleep by this time, though he did indulge his fans in one scene where some of the actor's chance-taking stylings of old emerged as he decides to prove that Frank is not a gay fashion designer, so tries to turn him on by exposing Ana's poitrine, then grabbing him in an intimate area to see if there has been any effect. Whereupon Frank plants a smacker of a kiss right on Ollie's lips and propositions him!

Well, we could all do with a laugh, and stuff like that provides them, along with such ridiculous hardboiled dialogue as "I weel put my ceegarette out on your neeples!", making for a film that many find hard to take seriously. No wonder when Bartos spends most of the first half of the movie clapping for no good reason, or featured artist Ferrer gets about three lines and a helicopter ride which must have made him muse if it had been worth his while to show up on the Greek locations just for that. Mostly this simply plods along, briefly brightening for a silly set up or memorable line, but plainly marking time till the effects budget can kick in and we get the explosions no action flick of this ilk could be without. Sure, there's a catfight when the arbitrary rivalry between the killer models gets out of hand, and the idea of Thompson posing thusly is inherently unbelievable, but when everyone's trying so hard to be tough in this, camp is the only result. Music, which keeps threatening to turn into the Black Beauty theme, by Jerry Grant.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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