Bullet Points: The Assassin Next Door
Olga Kurylenko joined the Bond Girl sorority after receiving her big break starring along side Daniel Craig in 2008’s Quantum of Solace.
Like many women before her, Olga wisely used her Bond Girl momentum to catapult her acting career. Since 2008, Olga has starred in a wide variety of projects from playing the vicious killer Etain in Centurion to playing the head mistress in Vampire Academy to co-starring with Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman in the sci-fi actioner Oblivion to starring opposite Antonio Banderas in the action comedy Gun Shy.
But Olga Kurylenko would have one of here meatiest roles directly after her appearance in Quantum of Solace, I am referring to the 2009 action thriller, The Assassin Next Door…
- Out of the Frying Pan: Galia (Olga Kurylenko) is a woman paying the price for a bad decision she made. Five years earlier, Galia abandoned her new born daughter and left her home in the Ukraine, now she finds herself working at a brothel for Russian mobsters. One night, Galia and a co-worker named Nina, decide to make a run for it. But the two prostitutes don’t make it very far… the mobsters catch up with them and both women receive a beating. Things get even worse when Galia is knocked out moments after witnessing Nina get stabbed to death. When Galia regains consciousness she finds herself in the presence of mobster underboss Mishka. Galia makes it clear to Mishka that she wants out of the prostitution game, but as you might imagine the Russian mob doesn’t just let people walk away. But Mishka cuts a deal with her to put her on the fast track to reunite with her daughter. Mishka is going to use Galia as an assassin!. Galia knows the mob has her six ways to Sunday, they have all her money, they have her passport and they have someone watching her daughter… so she reluctantly kills a man at the behest of Mishka.
- Altering the Deal: Galia thought after she killed the guy for Mishka, she would get her money and her passport and she would be on her way back to the Ukraine. But Mishka and his mob bosses had other plans for Galia. They wanted Galia to kill for them again, so Mishka gives Galia some cash, an airline ticket (but not the passport she would require to actually use the ticket) and sets her up with an apartment. As Galia lays on the mattress on the floor of her new apartment staring at her ticket out of town and thoughts of a reunion with her daughter running through her head, those thoughts are interrupted by screaming from the apartment next door. Galia finds out the hard way that she is living next door to a battered wife and her abusive husband.
- I’ll Be There For You: Galia, knowing what it is like to be abused by the male of the species, makes an attempt to befriend her neighbor Elinor (Ninette Tayeb). Elinor is more than reluctant at first and wants Galia to mind her own damn business. This is probably the type of reaction one should expect when you follow a person to their place of employment like some sort of creeper. But Galia’s creeper like persistence pays off and the two neighbors soon become friends. Most of the second act of the film is devoted to the developing relationship between Galia and Elinor. One minute Elinor is giving Galia cooking tips and doing Galia’s hair, the next the ladies are discussing killing Elinor’s husband and Galia teaching Elinor how to shoot a gun. To say the friendship between these two women is both unique and complex would be a major understatement. But the bond Galia and Elinor form would provide them the strength they needed to stand up to the men who were holding them down as the movie moved towards its violent finale.
The Assassin Next Door backloads the majority of the action in the final act of the film. And the level of violence as the movie wraps up proves the saying “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” true. The real draw of the movie is the arc of the Galia character. Watching Galia’s story unfold is compelling enough that the movie does not need nonstop gunplay and violence to keep it entertaining.
Much of the credit has to go to Olga Kurylenko herself. Olga has a natural charisma that pulls the audience in, plus the fact that she is Google Search hot does not hurt either. Seriously… right now some guy, some where in the world is reading this very review because he typed in “Olga Kurylenko Hot” into his favorite search engine and ended up here on Bulletproof Action.
Don’t leave just yet! I’ve got a few Bonus Bullet Points for you…
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Olga Kurylenko standing completely naked in the presence of a nun, then this is the movie for you.
- AKA: The original title for the film was Kirot. Kirot is the Hebrew word for walls.
- Spoiler Alert: For those of you pervs wondering if Galia and Elinor engage in some hot lesbian action as their friendship grows… they do not.
- Sophomore Effort: The Assassin Next Door was only the second movie written and directed by Danny Lerner. To date it was also the final movie written and directed by Danny Lerner.
- That Old Chestnut: Galia uses one of the oldest tricks in the book when she has to take out a target who is hospitalized. Galia disguises herself as a member of the hospital staff in order to gain access to the target’s room, a move I’ve seen successfully done over the years by everyone from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to Gary Busey.