ASSASSINAUT: a really bad movie with occasional flashes of quality that stick out as incongruous anomalies. Even its name, "ASSASSINAUT", is terrible. No, I'm NOT a movie snob who only gives positive reviews to big-budget blockbuster sci-fi epics. I, too, have an emotional soft spot for shoestring puttin'-on-a-show-in-the-barn loving-hands-at-home movies. I can stomach a lot of poor special-effects and stilted acting and pretty much all of the other warts and zits that go along with amateur moviemaking out of empathy and affection for those who make movies for the love of the art. But having to make your movie from a position of budgetary poverty DOESN'T forgive bad storytelling. If you're writing an opera than truly the story is allowed to be garbage because it's only there to be a place to drape all the shrieking. Outside of that peculiar storytelling exception, the story is everything. In ASSASSINAUT, it's painfully evident that the director, who was also the writer, so doubly unforgivable, viewed the story as an onerous obligation to be quickly dispensed with on his way to the funner stuff of making the movie. And that, my friends, is a Bozo No No. You'll notice my review doesn't even include a brief synopsis of the story. This is because I can't be sure I actually understood it. And I KNOW for a bald fact that many of the professional reviewers didn't either because, in reading most of the professional reviews listed on IMDb for ASSASSINAUT, the plot synopses given by many of the professional reviewers don't align. For example, in one review the state of the earth in the movie is post-apocalyptic and in another there was just an atomic bomb dropped on a particular city. This type of confusion occurs in several places. In other words, ASSASSINAUT shows clear signs of some incoherency. Would-be reviewers are coming away with different ideas of the plot line because they're having to fill in the story gaps in their own heads. And here's a few more examples: For some reason, the President has her own space station in orbit around a distant planet (perhaps as some publicity element promoting interplanetary colonization... or something...). The 4 main children characters arrive at the space station, along with a couple of other people, by means of an apparently instantaneous teleportation device. Unfortunately, one of the other people that teleport into the space station for the planned presidential photo op turns out to be a terrorist that shoots the President and in return he then gets pretty thoroughly shot up himself. Unfortunately, the terrorist also has a bomb strapped to himself displaying a countdown timer which clearly indicates almost exactly 1/4 of an hour remaining before the bomb is set to go off. Everybody, including the President herself, bugs out of the space station in escape pods. We see some remaining security guy settle in for a last cigarette as he waits for the bomb to destroy the station which will also kill him in the process. And then we watch a nice space explosion. None of which makes any sense at all. Why did everybody leave in escape pods and just abandoned the valuable space station to its fate, never mind blowing up the location of the teleportation device back home? Virtually ANY other solution would've been better. You could pop the bomber out an airlock where the pressurized escaping air would shove him miles away in the 15 minutes before the bomb goes off. Or how about stick the bomber in one of the escape pods to blow up someplace else? Or if you really WANT to blow up the space station, everybody could just teleport out and leave the bomber behind. And so on. In other words, we have an entire space station full of people unanimously making the worst possible decision in order to facilitate getting everybody down on the planet. Basically, plot progress by virtue of universal character idiocy. Here's another one. Once everybody is down on the planet, the characters start looking for some indigenous food to eat. They even have a little electronic whatsit that you can point at a piece of candidate food and it will actually tell you whether or not it's safe to eat. The arguable heroin of the movie, Sarah, finds a piece of what looks to be fruit which the electronic gadget proclaims as being edible. So she takes a bite. And immediately passes out and has a hallucination. What? What was the point in having this electronic gadget to tell you that something was safe to eat if it was just going to tell you to eat stuff that wasn't actually safe? What kind of idiotic writing is that? And here's one more. The movie ends with our heroin, Sarah, just walking off into the sunset. On an alien planet. The end. Where is she gonna go? If you're going to have your heroin walk off into the sunset at the end of the picture, it has to mean SOMETHING. Where she's going to go and what she's going to do and how she's going to do it all need to at least be implied. At the end, we have no reason to believe that Sarah is going to live beyond the next 10 minutes. People have been dropping like flies through the entire picture and we have no reason to believe that that trajectory isn't going to continue with Sarah. The writer may as well have ended the movie with "and Sarah woke up and it was all a dream". Amongst the few positives: the heroin, Sarah, is actually not a bad actress. If she had anything to work with in terms of a script she could probably have done something pretty good with it. Also, while the practical special-effects were eye-bleeding, the CG effects were pretty much as good as you find anywhere. In fact, they were good enough that it was a little jarring juxtaposed against the rest of the low quality workmanship. All moviemaking failures can be forgiven except lazy, sloppy, insane and ridiculous "storytelling". Making a crap story into a movie is a low rent crime against humanity.
Assassinaut is a science-fiction adventure film about a young girl who braves the alien wilderness of a faraway planet to save the President of Earth from a murderous astronaut.
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August 13, 2019