This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is "movies about assassins". This was a trickier one to find options for, since I'm not sure how many movies fitting that criteria I've actually seen. I've found several that I've been meaning to see and keep putting off (Kill Bill, Léon: The Professional) and some I probably should see (Get Carter) I was also told that apparently bounty hunters don't count (which rules out For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly). Still, I think I've found a few possible choices:
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
This is probably one of the strangest assassins you'll come across this week, from a weird film I had to watch for one of my classes. "Ghost Dog" is an African American hitman who has something of an obsession with Japanese culture. In particular, he strongly believes in the code of the Samurai to the point where he performs killings not out of any personal love for violence but because he believes he owes it to the mobster who saved his life that one time. He would allow himself to be shot dead in the middle of the street before turning on said mobster even after being betrayed.
This was an interesting one. Hanna is a teenager who was raised from birth to be the perfect assassin. In fact technically even a little bit before her birth (we later find out she was one of a large number of genetic experiments and subsequently the only survivor). She is raised in isolation by her father who goes out of his way to perfect her survival skills before she is sent into the world.
When she is, she's resourceful and deadly, a fact helped by her childlike naivety which she uses to her advantage (one of the first things she does when confronted by a person she thinks is the main villain is to start crying and then snap her neck when the latter tries to comfort her). She is still human, developing friendships and eventually starting to question her work, but it never stops her from her from ensuring that the corrupt CIA agent attempting to track her down gets what she deserves.
No Country for Old Men
Don't be fooled by that dorky-looking expression or the silly haircut. This movie's assassin, known by the name of Anton Chigurh, won actor Javier Bardem a deserved Oscar. This has got to be one of the most interesting assassins ever put on film in just how enigmatic he is. We never find out his full backstory or how he became the way he is, but from what we can tell he does have his standards. He has a set of rules that he follows devoutly, a moral code that only seems to make sense to him.
One moment he's violently massacring everyone in sight and the next he spares one man over a coin toss. We get brief glimpses into his psyche, and from what is shown he seems to be fairly messed up, but we can really only guess what truly goes through his head.
Many of the most memorable moments in the film are scenes involving Chigurh: the the scene where he strangles a hapless deputy while displaying a very disgruntled expression, the famous coin toss scene at the gas station where he essentially decides by way of chance whether to kill the clerk, the street shootout, the fate of Carson Welles, and even one of the final scenes in the movie.
To add to the enigma there's even a few people we never find out for sure if he killed. Many assume Carla Jean was murdered but we never find out for certain, and of course there was the scene where an accountant witnesses Chigurh murdering his boss. He asks him if he's going to kill him too, to which Chigurh replies with "That depends, did you see me?" The scene cuts and people still debate on whether the poor guy survived that encounter.