Follow us on

Featured DVD Review: The Assassin Next Door

September 7th, 2010

The Assassin Next Door - Buy from Amazon

Olga Kurylenko started out as a model when she was just a teenager, but made the transition to acting a few years ago in critically acclaimed movies like Le Serpent and Paris, Je T'Aime. She started getting roles in Hollywood hits that were not as well received by critics, while in 2008 she earned her big break with Quantum of Solace. Since then, she hasn't been able to follow up that role with anything nearly as big (although it would be practically impossible to be bigger than Bond). The latest film of hers to be released here is The Assassin Next Door, which went under the name Kirot in its native Israel. Obviously no one is expecting the film to be as big as Bond, but can this smaller film thrive on its own terms?

The Show

Normally I start these reviews with a brief plot synopsis starting at the beginning and ending when the spoilers become too dense to avoid. However, this movie makes that format hard to pull off, as the film jumps right into the plot.

The first scene has Olga Kurylenko, who plays Galia, although we don't find that out for a few more scenes, and another woman sitting on a couch. Clearly neither want to be there, but are being forced. A quick scene change later and the two women have made a run trying to escape. That attempt ends quickly with the capture of both of them, and shortly after one of them is murdered. We then learn Galia abandoned her family in the Ukraine, but is now being forced into prostitution by human traffickers. After her escape attempt, they are set to kill Galia, just like they did with her friend, but offer her one chance. She must kill a man, if she does, they will give her back her money and passport and she can go home. If she refuses, they will kill her and then come for her child. Despite living up to her end of the bargain, they refuse to let her go and keep her in a new apartment for further work.

It is while living in this apartment that she meets Elinor, her neighbor and the victim of an abusive husband. At first she merely hears the abuse through the thin walls and sees the bruising, but later the two women become friends. After they find out Elinor is pregnant, they discuss leaving together, and then when it becomes clear that Galia's employers are not going to let her go, they decide to act.

Looking at the cover and reading the plot synopsis found on the back, and one would not be out of line thinking this film would be similar to Taken. This is not the case. The film is less kick-ass revenge flick and more of a drama about women bonding and trying to get through a difficult situation. If you are looking for exploitation / revenge / action flicks, then you will be mostly disappointed. That's not to say there's no action, it's just not the focus of the film. The focus for the vast majority of the film is the relationship between Galia and Elinor, and I have no problem with that. Both Olga Kurylenko and Ninette Tayeb deliver very emotional performances in this film and for a lot of people, seeing their work is reason enough to recommend this movie.

There is enough action that the film isn't a total loss in that area. The action scenes are more realistic than most Hollywood films, brutally so in the opening scenes, but go in expecting a drama with some action scenes and not an action film and it is more likely you will be satisfied.

It is a little jarring in the beginning, but it is a worthwhile film.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

Olga Kurylenko has yet to turn her part in Quantum of Solace into a major Hollywood career. Her most recent film, Centurion, earned just mixed reviews and struggled at the box office. However, her performance in The Assassin Next Door shows she has the talent to be a star and even with no extras on the DVD, it is worth picking up.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, Kirot