Hired to Kill Hard to Watch

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Hired to Kill Blu-ray review Dennis Russo Critical Blast

Hired To Kill

Tag Line: A-Team meets Charlies Angels meets Miami Vice.

So what do you get when you mix A-Team’s macho-ness, Charlies Angels’ beauty and toughness and Miami Vice’s sexiness? The answer is a 90’s movie shot direct to video that has risen to cult status.

This 2-disc director approved Special Edition Blu-ray+DVD starring America’s answer to Jean-Claude Van Damme, Brian Thompson, along with big name draws (at the time) like George Kennedy, Jose Ferrer and Oliver Reed, the latter two of which I consider to be two of the finest actors in cinematic history.Which has me asking myself: Why are they in this movie?

Thompson stars as Frank Ryan, a macho, he-man mercenary type with a perpetual look of constipation on his face. He’s hired by a “businessman” named Mr. Thomas to help jump start a revolution in a foreign country to overthrow a man named Bartos (Oliver Reed), a puppet leader the US helped put in power, but who has now taken control of the country for his own.  Ryan’s job is to break out Bartos’ brother Rallis (Jose Ferrer), whom Bartos  had imprisoned because of his popularity with the revolutionaries.

In order to do this Mr. Thomas (Kennedy) tells Ryan that to be able to circumvent the high security Bartos has in the country, he has to pose as a fashion designer going there to unveil his new line of clothing. Ryan then hand picks models that are not only beautiful but are tough as nails mercenary types themselves from around the world. He then trains them his way into a top fighting force before they go.

This movie is one of those enigmas that had me going, “What does everyone see in this movie?” Except for Oliver Reed, the acting throughout is fair at best, mostly in part because the script is only fair at best. Reed is one of those actors that could read the ingredients off of a cereal box and earn an academy nomination.

Special effects were on par with that of the A-Team (the TV series not the movie) and the corniness of some of the scenes had me going “Really?!” I mean, there is this one scene that had them going into the rebel camp, out in the open with pup tents, with a few twigs branches tied to them to camouflaged them! And then to top that off, at night we see the bad-a** revolutionist playing music around the campfire with--you guessed it--a guitar and harmonica!

Then there’s the scenes where the really tough chick is sneaking around with a cigar butt in her mouth. It’s not totally unusual that a woman smokes a cigar, except that this was the first time we ever see her with one, it was not even lit, and it was a butt end! Hoo-boy.

What makes this movie watchable for someone who is not a fan is the crystal clarity the Blu-ray brings to the print. It takes the beautiful women and really lets their beauty shine through. I don’t mean that from any sexist point of view; the color and clarity is so fine that you can see the pores on their skin during close ups--and there are a lot of close ups.

Surprisingly to me in a movie such as this is that there is not that much nudity. Yes, there is some, but just bare breasts in two scenes that I recall with just one of the female leads. The rest of the sexiness is in the way the women are dressed when they are posing as models in the swimwear and clothes.

Perhaps what I enjoyed most was the extras, especially the interview with Brian Thompson. While never a huge fan of his movies, after watching this interview I had a newfound respect for him as not only an actor but a person. And while I never considered him a great thespian, watching the interview as a regular person I was able to see that most of the persona that he portrayed was acting; that he wasn’t just someone found off the street with a body but was someone that only wanted to act from the get-go. He tells funny stories of Oliver Reed and other cast members of the shoot as well as heartfelt stories of tragedies that befell the shooting of the movie. Had I watched the interview (done this year) first, I most assuredly would have watched the movie with a different perspective--on his acting that is. But even that and Oliver Reed and Jose Ferrer (who says maybe six lines in the whole movie) isn’t going to raise this movie to Citizen Kane.

If you are one of those that love this movie for whatever reason, then this Blu-ray special edition is for you. If you like corny macho movies with a bevy of scantily and fatigue wearing women, this too will be for you. For me, it was fun to watch once but that will be about it for me on this one.


  • Hired To Direct: Brand new interview with Director Nico Mastorakis on the making of Hired To Kill.

  • Undercover Mercenary: Brand new interview star Brian Thompson filmed in LA in January 2016.

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Stills Gallery

  • Audio Commentary


2.5 / 5.0