Jay Killion (Charles Bronson) had been the presidential bodyguard, but for the inauguration of the recently elected president, he is assigned to the first lady, Lara Royce (Jill Ireland). Lara, a perpetually indignant, arrogantly feministic lady, initially hates the methodical and rules-following Killion, and so she does all she can to avoid him and disregard his safety procedures. The story complicates, however, when repeated attempts are made on Lara’s life. Eventually, the shaken Lara decides to trust Killion’s instincts and precautionary methods, and the pair embark on a difficult and often perilous cross-country journey, with the assassins close on their heels.


A precursor to bigger and better movies like In the Line of Fire (with Clint Eastwood) and Olympus Has Fallen (with Gerard Butler), Assassination, starring Charles Bronson as a seasoned secret service agent assigned to the bitchy First Lady (or “One Mamma”), is a half-hearted action movie from The Cannon Group. A newly inaugurated President’s wife (played by Bronson’s wife Jill Ireland) is impossibly difficult to deal with, and so the secret service asks Jay Killian (Bronson) to step in and take on protective duties. She shirks all safety protocols and just about gets herself killed several times, and when Killian insists that there is a plot to assassinate her, it takes her forever to realize that he’s right. In an extraordinary case, he is forced to take her on the lam and embark on an incognito road trip because there’s no one they can trust – including the President, who might be the very man who is trying to kill her.

Light on action, but certainly a palpable thriller, Assassination isn’t anything special and any fan of Bronson can easily be forgiven for overlooking it. The production values are on par with T.V. shows that were being produced during its era- stuff like The A-Team and Airwolf. It’s fluff. Bronson looks bored in it. Director Peter Hunt also made Death Hunt with Bronson.

A brand new high definition blu ray of Assassination has just been released from Kino Lorber, and for anyone looking to close a gap in their Bronson on blu collection, look no further. The transfer is excellent (as usual for Kino), and the sound grade is superb. As this is a Cannon release, the film stock is especially filmic and dullish (not a criticism), and Kino’s treatment of the movie is on par with their other releases. No special features, though, which is okay.


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About the Author

david j. moore
david j. moore is the author of World Gone Wild: A Survivor's Guide to Post-Apocalyptic Movies and the upcoming book The Good, the Tough and the Deadly: Action Movies and Stars, coming April, 2016 from Schiffer Publishing.