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Assassination Tango

Robert Duvall , Luciana Pedraza , Robert Duvall    R (Restricted)   DVD
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.95
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Robert Duvall's fascination with tango finds its expression in this labor of love, a film he wrote, directed, and stars in. Duvall plays a professional hit man on a job in Argentina. Forced to kill time instead of his target, he learns about tango, and meets a beautiful young dancer who teaches him the art. Seeing this precise, passionate dance, one feels no doubt it is worthy of Duvall's obsession. The hit-man plotline becomes less urgent as the movie goes on, and the director's loose, improvisatory approach makes for a certain sketchiness in scenes. But, like Duvall's marvelously odd The Apostle, the darn thing is intriguing. In leading lady Luciana Pedraza, Duvall has found a stunning partner--a slinky tango dancer and a beguiling actress. (One has no doubt she is worthy of his obsession, too.) This is a film from the "uneven" file, but like many such movies, it has its attractions. --Robert Horton

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A low-level Mafia hitman is sent to Argentina to kill a retired general for his 'crimes against humanity'. The general has an accident (breaks his leg) and so the assasination is postponed and the hitman, who likes ballroom dancing, takes tango lessons.
The film is basically an excuse to show off the tango sequences and dancing of Duvall's current girlfriend (in real life). She basically steals the movie. Duvall is a great actor but this isn't the best vehicle for him though it could have been much better with a better script and a more compelling story.
As it is the story is weak and flawed. Still, Duvall in a mediocre film is better than most other actors around and his girlfriend is spectacular. Worth viewing once, especially for Duvall fans or fans of tango.
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Robert Duvall shows some originality, in this captivating film. I say captivating, I couldnt turn it off, the dialouge was very realistic almost with a documentary edge, the action while not flashy or excessive had realistic grit,and I had to know how it was going to end. Being an artistic endevour you really dont know whats going to happen to our protaganist, hitman in the end.
I throw the word original at this work for a couple of reasons. The main character, "John Anderson" played by Duvall(albeit as the same cheracter we have seen him play before) is a hitman with a difference, not to much macho posturing is used creating this vulnerable,aging,and somewhat regretful professional. He's not regretful about the "jobs" he performed, but that as he nears the twilight of his life he has established no real roots. He does however now have girlfriend with a ten year old daughter, and his love for and devotion to this child shines through, as does Duvall's love for the Tango which is so beautifully performed many times for the loving camera by very attractive Argentinians. Both young and old.
The assasination plot takes a back seat to the Tango for a good portion of the film, and when Duvall brings us back to his whole purpose of being in Argentina we are as sorry as he to have to leave this wonderful dance behind.
There are one or two moments where Duvall's scenes could have been tightened up but I never felt these were very big negatives. All in all I would recommend this film to lovers of independent film, dance, and Robert Duvall fans.
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3.0 out of 5 stars THE PLOT FAILS TO TWIRL AS MUCH AS THE DANCING April 2 2004
Assassination Tango is about reclaiming one's soul through the innocence and wonder of a child. It is about the preoccupation with our self-image and the ability of some of us to be both ruthless and loving, amoral yet touched by innocence and art. Duvall, who wrote, starred in and directed this movie, wants to convey the transcendental power of the tango. Unfortunately, the film fails to get under the skin of its characters or its sketchy social commentary. It resonates more like a feeble soft-shoe number than an intense dance with life and death.
While the examination of the world of the Tango in Argentina is interesting, especially if you love dancing, the vehicle used is a banal "a hitman goes native for a while, but gets to go home again" theme. The script is flawed and the movie ends with lots unresolved.
The photography in both Brooklyn and Argentina contains many scenes of breathtaking beauty. Duvall's scenes with Luciana Pedraza ( Manuela) are magical ,as are the sequences involving her teaching Mr. Duvall to tango. Geraldine Rojas as Pirucha delivers a beautiful speech on the relationship of tango to life. There's a slight romance, but even though Duvall and Pedraza are real-life lovers, their onscreen chemistry is negligible, and too much of the film's thematic exploration of tango is delivered in clumsy and didactic dialogue sequences instead of blistering action on the dance floor.
In the last act, it heats up as a thriller, with the usual double-crosses and hairbreadth escapes, but it's such a poor job of storytelling that through the entire finale it's impossible to figure out what is happening, who the various gangland players are, who is killing whom, and why.
Recommended rental, maybe, but not something I'd really watch more than once.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and eccentric movie Feb. 19 2004
By A Customer
I am a fan of Robert Duvall, who often likes to play interesting and isolated characters who have an inward struggle inside. In this movie, Duvall plays an aging hitman who is sent by his crime boss to assassinate a wealthy general in Argentina. When the general gets hospitalized, Duvall's character has to bide his time for two weeks. He gets enthralled by the tango, especially an attractive tango dancer whom he strikes a friendship with and occupies his time learning the tango, while waiting for the opportunity to complete his assignment. I will leave you to watch the rest of the movie for the ending.
What I liked about the movie is that it offers a very original story, coupling a hitman with tango dancing(!). The story seems to talk about a man's inward struggle about himself, his relationships, and his future. What attracts him to the tango is that it offers a disciplined and beautiful structure which his own life is lacking. The movie also has some beautiful little moments, giving us glimpses into this man's relationship with his girlfriend and her daughter whom he adores, and later his relationship with the tango dancer.
This movie, however, is not as action-packed as one would expect and it is fairly predictable. However, the tango dancing is great and the dancers are very attractive. I would say, don't expect too much watching this movie. If you enjoy an original story and drama which focusses on character development, you'd probably like this one. If you are looking for an action-packed movie, you'd be disappointed.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic excuse for a tango
Robert Duvall is a good actor and has been around for a long time, but his co-star who is also his wife tries way too hard and doesn't deliver at all. Read more
Published 6 months ago by lr1463
2.0 out of 5 stars Where is Tango?
Where is Tango in this movie? Ah, yes, it's at the end, when the final credits appear. Everything else is just a bunch of extremely short clips, as if it were a TV commercial. Read more
Published on July 7 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn...
Obviously an endorsement for his girlfriend's passion...the tango. The dance scenes are the only thing worth watching. Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by Jaime Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I was intrigued from beginning to end. It's laced with violence, moreso the precarious nature of being human, touching on nuances of community, human sexuality, relationships,... Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Silence
2.0 out of 5 stars just didnt go anywhere
The movie wasn't about Tango so much, it wasn't about the mob so much. It just didn't really go anywhere. It could of been a contender, but sadly it wasn't.
Published on May 25 2004 by CollectedReader
1.0 out of 5 stars You can't be fantastically great at everything.
Robert Duvall is one of the greatest actors of our time. But this film smacks of a vanity piece. Plot slooooooow! Editing: please, let's have some. Lots of talking heads. Read more
Published on May 24 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrable Horrable Movie
If there was a 0 star I would have given it that. The movie is incoherent; the acting is mediocre at best. Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Faris A. Almouallimi
1.0 out of 5 stars An exercise in weak connections
Robert Duvall could very well be the same character he played in The Apostle as he represents in Assassination Tango. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Robert C. Riggs
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal trip...
This is sensational art. One must carry already a piece of Duvall's world in order to appreciate the movie... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2004 by Lycos
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