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29 Apr 8:00am

The Virtuoso review – Anthony Hopkins on autopilot for dull hitman thriller

The Guardian
Once you’ve worked out the big climactic twist after 15 minutes, you’ll know this story of a strictly amateur master assassin is firing blanks This gloomy – literally so – thriller is set mostly over the course of one night, starting out with a big wodge of voiceover narration by the film’s unnamed hitman protagonist (Anson Mount), all of it using the second person voice with a cello sawing away in the background. For a minute your hopes are raised that this will be some kind of playful postmodern narrative, along the lines of Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, Robert Coover’s Noir, or even a pleasingly lurid Gen X study such as Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City. Alas, you are disappointed to learn this mystery story is much less clever than it thinks it is. Perhaps you should have twigged that earlier as the hitman, who considers himself a master of his trade, pretty much screws up every assignment he gets after his initial hit, where he shoots a man in flagrante delicto, splattering his partner with blood in the process. When the hitman complains to his boss – Anthony Hopkins (clearly slumming it before
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