Bullet Points: Virtual Assassin
- The Gist: A former Police officer (Michael Dudikoff) who was fired after failing to save his partner now spends his time drinking, gambling, and janitor-ing at a facility where they are attempting to create a computer virus that can eliminate the risk of hackers into computer systems. After stowing away in an empty room on the run from his bookie, now janitor Nick James must attempt to save the computer scientists from the very man who killed his partner, Nassim (Brion James). As the minutes go by, Nassim grows ever closer to combining his brain with the computer virus to give him capabilities which could be unstoppable.
These rarely work out well for the non-hostage taker.
- The Cast: With Michael Dudikoff at the lead you should know exactly what you are getting with a movie, and in this one, Dudikoff delivers. He is his usual mysterious, soft-spoken hero. Since his failure to save his partner he seems to have fallen into a pit of drinking and gambling which actually sounds pretty fun. He loses a lot, though, which is the sign of a “gambling problem” and not just being good at gambling. You can tell that he’s in the pits because he’s a janitor, which Hollywood considers pretty much the lowest of the low. I’m surprised there isn’ t a scene where he has to clean up some kids puke. His love interest/computer scientist lady is played by the very attractive Suki Kaiser. She does a fine job of getting our janitor hero to save the day instead of just running and hiding which seemed to be his first thought. Throw in some stereotypical asshole cops, black buddy security guard, and Japanese investor and you have a solid cast for a Direct to Video film.
Suki Kaiser reminds me of that girl from The Big Bang Theory.
- The Villain: Holy Hell…they certainly had fun with the casting of this movie. The amazing Brion James plays our Hans Gruber for this one and does a cheese-tastic job. His right hand woman is a fit black chick who is seriously wearing a metal chest plate during the entire film. The rest of his crew is a mixture of ethnic groups and such; you have the cowboy, the African dressed dude who speaks in a Jamaican accent, a guy who doesn’t feel pain named Numb (of course), and as I said a frighteningly pale Brion James with dyed blond hair. Wow! They even sneak into the facility by pretending to be carpet cleaners working for a company called Acme Carpet Cleaning. How could that company not be real??
Brion James looked like he had been dipped in alcohol and fed cocaine throughout the shoot.
- The Action: The action, although not amazing, is pretty decent. There are fewer hand-to-hand fights than I would have liked and most of the fighting is done with wildly inaccurate “from the hip” shooting. All of this works because none of the characters are really supposed to be former Special Forces or anything but it would have been nice to see one good knock-down, drag-out fight. Dudikoff’s best fight in this one is with the metal tit lady. There is one really cool scene where Dudikoff uses a bunch of holograms of himself to confuse the bad guy and eventually walk right up and bunch him in the goatee. I was hoping for a longer fight sequence with the guy who couldn’t feel pain. That seems like something that could have gone like a Monty Python gimmick and had him get all shot up or stabbed a bunch.
Metal tits herself.
Take it Home:
- Recycling: The futuristic handguns used in this movie were from the film Timecop (awesome).
- Favorite quote: “After tonight, God will be lucky if I ever return his phone calls.”
- Memories:When Nassim is trying to remember the name Nick James, he says to himself “I used to f**k a guy in prison named Nick. No, that was Nick Jones.” WHAT??
- Quote that I may actually use: “Risk is the stepchild of ambition.”
- Benny Hill Action: Hill would have been proud to see his gimmick used for violence. Or maybe he wouldn’t have. Who cares, he’s dead.
- Missed opportunity: Never at any point does Dudikoff say “It’s time to clean up the trash”….very disappointing.
This is one of those movies that you watch for Michael Dudikoff or Brion James. If you are a fan of either actor (and you should be) then you will enjoy this movie based on those merits alone. Other than that, it is a surprisingly decent Die Hard rip-off coupled with the mid-90’s obsession with computers. This was released the same year as Johnny Mnemonic, The Net, Virtuosity, and Hackers. You could say that none of these movies was very good but each of them had their own charms about them. I would say the same for Virtual Assassin. They also talk about baseball a lot in this movie. I know Dudikoff is supposed to be a big gambler but it never mentions him putting a huge sum on his team which does make a comeback. Also, there is some confusion as to whether or not Dudikoff’s character was shot in the face by Nassim at the beginning. They could have gone into that further but it is never mentioned again. Oh well. As someone who can appreciate how ignorant movies were about the internet in the 90’s, I love this shit!