Hitman - a hired killer, especially a professional killer from the underworld
Assassin - a murderer, especially one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons
Agent (spy) - a person that acts or has the power to act; a person employed to collect the military secrets of one country and relay them to another, especially a person living in a foreign country while so working for his or her own nation
Is it wrong to like these killer films?
This article is not meant to encourage the viewing of these movies, but more to engage people to think deeper about their entertainment choices. Assassins are not a new incarnation of the cinematic age, they have been part of the human experience since the beginning of recorded history. The Bible even documents people who would wear the label of assassin. Ehud (Judges 3), Jael (Judges 4), and Joab (2 Samuel) are a few individuals who took life from others, but the work they did seem to represent a righteous end. These stories are not necessarily meant to be honoured, but they show that the Bible does not shy away from the dark realities of the human condition.
The moral discussion comes down to determining if watching the film condones the actions on the screen or whether the actions by the lead characters may cause someone to do the same. Each person needs to determine this for themselves, but instead of dismissing this genre, doesn’t it deserve some more thought?
(Thank you to Ben McEachen from The Big Picture for the challenge of looking at the subject of assassins)
Films and themes to consider*
- Mr & Mrs Smith - Honesty within a marriage
- Bourne series - Justice, redemption and identity
- Collateral - Redemption
- Apocalypse Now - Justice
- Grose Pointe Plank - What would you do if you went to your class reunion and you found out a class mate was an assassin?
- The Road to Predition - Justice and family
- Leon: The Professional - relationships
- The Terminator - Salvation
- James Bond - 50 years of the most famous assassin - Serving a greater purpose
*All of these films are for mature audiences. Please check the rating of the film before going to the cinema.
This list is not an exhaustive list, but it gets you thinking about the deeper meaning behind this style of film. Also, this is not an article to justify assassin movies, but the hope would be that these movies would not be discredited without some thought.
- What is your favourite assassin film?
- What is your opinion on the article? Why not take a shot!