From director Nick Stagliano comes a low-key but interesting assassin movie called The Virtuoso.
Anson Mount (Star Trek Discovery) is ‘The Virtuoso'. So called because, in this profession, his years of training, control, perfect timing and accuracy have made him a sought-after professional assassin. A Virtuoso of his craft.
And we know this because his every move is narrated by him as he goes about putting together the perfect plan for his next target.
The problem is that the plan doesn't go perfectly and an innocent civilian is killed in the process. Despite being almost sociopathic in his nature, this particular collateral damage does affect him.
So much so that he realises he must repay the outstanding debt, and so the professional assassin accepts a new assignment from his enigmatic boss ‘The Mentor', Anthony Hopkins.
All The Virtuoso is given is the name of a sleepy town, a diner, a time and the words ‘White Rivers' and from that, he must deduce who his target is.
The movie then follows him through the process of working out who's who from several possible targets and formulating a plan to complete the job.
As expected, danger, deception and murder descend upon the sleepy town as we all try to figure out who White Rivers is.
The Virtuoso Official Trailer
Is The Virtuoso Worth Watching?
Yes and no. I was drawn in by the idea of Sir Anthony Hopkins and a quirky assassin plot, and from that perspective, it doesn't disappoint.
There is relatively no back story whatsoever, but Anson Mount is compelling to watch as a man who lives off the grid and earns his money by killing people. Why does he do it? Who knows. As I said, no backstory.
The cleverness of centring the plot around a small group of people in a diner makes for a really intriguing, if threadbare assassin thriller setup.
The only problem is that if you are paying attention, you can see the big twist coming from about two-thirds of the way in.
And then when you're proven right, it's a bit of a letdown.
So The Virtuoso is a good film, just not a great film. If we had just been given a little more insight into the other characters, or a few more non-obvious twists has been thrown in, it definitely would have been elevated and more memorable.
I did read one critic's review which stated that ‘The Virtuoso falls short of even base level competency', but that's a bit harsh.
As is, The Virtuoso is fine for an hour and a half but fails to wring fresh excitement or bring anything new to the genre.
Where To Watch The Virtuoso
In March 2021, Lionsgate Films acquired distribution rights to the film which was given a release date of April 30, 2021.
Now though, you can stream The Virtuoso on Netflix.
The Virtuoso Movie Cast
This is very much a low-key neo-noir thriller. As such the talented cast is limited to just a few key players.
Anson Mount as The Virtuoso, a professional hitman who takes a new assignment to repay a debt.
Abbie Cornish as The Waitress
Anthony Hopkins as The Mentor
Eddie Marsan as The Loner
David Morse as The Deputy
Richard Brake as Handsome Johnnie
Diora Baird as Johnnie's Girl
Chris Perfetti (Abbott Elementary) as The Motel Clerk