Bullet Points: The Silencer (2000)
If you are a fan of Michael Dudikoff, you no doubt love his heroic antics in movies like American Ninja and Avenging Force. But have you ever wanted to see Dudikoff in a darker role?
If you answered yes and you haven’t seen The Silencer starring Michael Dudikoff and Brennan Elliott, you need to check it out…
- The Premise: Brennan Elliott plays FBI agent Jason Wells. Wells is hand picked by his superior Neal Donovan (Terence Kelly) to work an off the books assignment that will put Wells deep undercover with a right wing extremist group known as The Group (a name brilliant in its simplicity). Word is that The Group is looking to assassinate Presidential hopeful Senator Cayton (Michael St. John Smith). Wells’ mission is to thwart the assassination attempt and take The Group down.
- It Came from Cleveland: The FBI stage the death of Jason Wells in spectacular fashion as he enters a building that explodes seconds later. After his “death” Jason Wells is rechristened Jason Black. Black’s backstory is that he was a button man for the mob working out of Cleveland and looking to become an assassin for The Group. Wells is given a makeover, that includes a new wardrobe and a new look with long hair, sideburns and some facial hair for good measure… I’d like to take a moment out of this review to point out how ridiculous Brennan Elliott looks with long hair.
- The Master: To properly vet Jason Black as their future assassin, The Group sends in a man who has killed for them time and time again, a true professional named Quinn Simmons or as he is known in his line of work, The Silencer (ding!). Quinn is looking to get out of the hitman game and start anew in Buenos Aries with his love interest Jill Martin (Gabrielle Miller). So Quinn does his very best to get Black up to speed, training him to be the perfect assassin and trying to instill the strict rules that he has used over the years to help him cope with the dirty job he has to do… yes, even when Dudikoff plays a darker character who is, for all intents and purposes, a murderer, he has a moral code and you can’t help but like the guy. The teacher/student relationship between Quinn and Black opens the door for an “assassin training montage” which I believe was the first montage of that kind that I had ever seen.
- Spy Games: Like any spy movie worth its salt, The Silencer features characters that are not what the seem. This is something our hero Jason Wells/Jason Black finds out the hard way as he becomes a patsy and framed for the assassination of the very men he was sent in to prevent from being assassinated, Senator Cayton. The last act of the film has Wells trying to unravel the plot of who set him up and why… but is Quinn Simmons a friend or a foe in all of this!?!?
As I said at the top of this review, if you ever had a desire to see Dudikoff play an entirely different character than the typical action hero in a movie, then you really want to check out The Silencer. It was a reminder that Dudikoff was an actor first before finding a niche in the action entertainment genre. While the Quinn Simmons character is not going to usurp Joe Armstrong as my favorite Dudikoff character of all-time, it would probably be in my Top 5.
The versatile Brennan Elliott also turned out a quality performance as the pawn that strikes back in the tangled web of espionage that is The Silencer. And when I refer to Elliott as versatile, it is not an understatement. The Calgary, Alberta native has been in everything from a Chucky movie to various movies and television shows that your mom or your aunt watch on The Hallmark Channel.
I’m not quite ready to stop talking about The Silencer, so instead of silencing myself, I’ll share a few Bonus Bullet Points…
- The Name Game: There are two other movies that were titled The Silencer. There was the action thriller The Silencer released in 1992 that featured Chris Mulkey, Lynette Walden and Robert Downey Jr. And the 1995 movie Body Count starring Brigitte Nielsen, Robert Davi, Steven Bauer, Sonny Chiba and Jan-Michael Vincent has the alternate title The Silencer.
- 10: I would give the car flip in The Silencer a 10. It was spectacular with multiple spirals!
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Michael Dudikoff collect snow globes, then this is the movie for you.
- Dudikoff Charm: Early on in the film Jill tells Quinn that she is ending their relationship. She is sick of his mysterious ways and reveals that she doesn’t even have his phone number! But the Dudikoff charm kicks in and in the next scene we see the two of them in bed together.
- Defenestration Recommendation: If you are fan of the act of defenestration, you’ll enjoy The Silencer.
- The Mechanic: I couldn’t help but feel that the scene where Jason Wells meets Neal Donovan at an aquarium was an homage to the scene in the Charles Bronson classic The Mechanic where Bronson’s character Arthur Bishop blacks out at an aquarium.