The Virtuoso stars recent Academy Award winner for Best Actor Anthony Hopkins in one of the more mysterious roles of his career. Hopkins plays the mentor and boss of a highly efficient assassin (Anson Mount). When the paid killer decides to accept his latest assignment, he does so knowing only when and where it is supposed to take place. He is also provided a cryptic clue. It is up to the hitman to identify his next mark – and there are several possibilities.
Stories about paid killers tend to be exciting ones and this one has a great premise. The tension is built into a plot about someone trying to take out their target. The Virtuoso adds an additional layer of mystery. It is not just about whether the assassin can get to their victim; in this case, they do not even know who they are supposed to take out.
The noir influences are seen throughout The Virtuoso. The characters are straight out of decades past with even a lack of names adding mystery to the entire film. It adds a clear atmosphere to things, but it also ends up being the biggest flaw. As is often the case with movies about contract killers, things become too cliched. Since this is bound to happen it has pretty much become acceptable. This also means these films do not stay with the audience for very long.
Movies from this genre thrive on keeping their audiences watching with bated breath. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep people watching hooked and off balance. The Virtuoso does its best to be surprising, but much of what happens is obvious. This does not make it bad, but it definitely takes away from the excitement.
While everyone does a great job in their roles, it is hard not to get the feeling there should have been more. The Virtuoso tells a nuanced story without providing much depth to its characters. There is a constant sense that everyone just has a little more to their stories. It is another reason things remain so perplexing and another it does not stand out.
The Virtuoso will be in select theaters and available to rent April 30. It comes to DVD and Blu-Ray May 4
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