Friday, December 7, 2018


While Asher doesn't offer much in the way of surprise or suspense, there's something magnetic about Ron Perlman as the career fixer whose age has finally started to catch up to him. Perlman captures Asher's weary professionalism that is only ever disrupted by the chance meeting of a ballet teacher (Famke Janssen) whose life he literally falls into.

The script from first-time feature screenwriter Jay Zaretsky is pretty standard fare about an aging hitman whose life is about to get complicated by a new love and a past come back to haunt him. Perlman and Janssen help elevate the subject manner while director Michael Caton-Jones and cinematographer Denis Crossan combine to provide the film a visual style that highlights its stars and the world where Asher lives.

Filling out the story, the script throws in subplots involving Jacqueline Bisset the ballet teacher's mother suffering from Alzheimer's and troubles involving Richard Dreyfuss and Peter Facinelli as a honored boss and celebrity protege. Neither story offers easy answers, but, when force comes to bear, Asher will deal with all obstacles as best he can.

Asher is a B-movie, but one with a better cast and crew than it deserves. Without Perlman, the film could easily have gone straight to video and gone completely unnoticed. Instead, the actor breathes life into both the role and the film, getting the most of each while providing an interesting ride for the audience. The choice to film the scenes on location in New York and Syracuse also adds a bit of added authenticity to the proceedings. Asher's world is well-defined and lived-in, as is that of Sophie and her mother, so that (even if we haven't personally walked these streets) we immediately buy into Archer and his world and could visualize him coming around any corner. And, as a bonus, it may change your opinion of seeing a stranger walk down the street with an umbrella on a sunny day.

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