Actors: Brian Thompson, George Kennedy, Oliver Reed
Synopsis: An essential slice of '90s action fare featuring guns, girls, and a plethora of budget-busting explosions.
"Hired to Kill,” directed by Nico Mastorakis, is about a fashion photographer and seven models who travel to a South American island fortress, ostensibly to do a fashion shoot. In reality, the photographer is a mercenary and their job is to free an imprisoned rebel leader.
Brian Thompson is Frank Ryan, a mercenary. One day, Thomas (George Kennedy) a government guy contacts him with a new mission: to free (or kill) an imprisoned rebel leader in order to create a revolution in the little republic of Cypra. The president of this banana republic is Michael Bartos (Oliver Reed), a guy with a big moustache and an even bigger appétit for women! Ryan goes under-cover as a gay fashion designer and his team of five female mercenaries is ready to kill.
Mastorakis delivers a very stylish and slick production which has great cinematography by Andreas Bellis. Once it begins there is a lot of action. There are lots of slow-mo, explosions and a high body count (with lots of blood). Brian Thompson is wonderful with weapons and kills with charm and talent. The last half hour is the best, with all its action and mayhem and Oliver Reed is fun to see as the obese dictator.
As a mercenary, Frank Ryan he plays by his own rules. But when Thomas approaches him with a new assignment but he is wary. His assignment is to travel to the small country of Cypra and rescue a political prisoner named Rallis (Jose Ferrer). But in order to do this, he must pretend to be a gay fashion designer and have a retinue of seven fashion models. These aren’t ordinary women, they’re all specially trained in the fighting arts. The only real obstacle standing in their way is the president of Cypra, Michael Bartos and his boys.
Co-written by Kirk Ellis, “Hired to Kill” is a well paced but very by-the-book thriller with few surprises, most of the twists would be quite easy to predict for anyone who has seen a few other genre films.. A few interesting themes do crop up during the storyline, particularly the idea that George Kennedy’s character is controlling revolutions for the highest bidder, but nothing is really developed here and even the one unpredicted twist late on that seems to pose quite a dilemma is left unresolved and simply forgotten by the rather simplistic ending.
Brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Stereo audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
Audio Commentary with editor Barry Zetlin
Hired to Direct – a brand new interview with director Nico Mastorakis on the making of Hired to Kill
Undercover Mercenary – a brand new interview with star Brian Thompson
Original Theatrical Trailer
Original Screenplay, entitled Freedom or Death (BD/DVD-ROM Content)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver