Is there anything the Bros-man can’t do?

Everyone in life must find their own path and carve out their own niche. This can only be accomplished through trial and error, success and failure. Although each man or woman will have a unique story, there are numerous common experiences everyone can relate to. No matter which country someone lives in or what profession they ultimately choose, interpersonal dynamics often mirror the experiences of others.

In Assassination, directed by Peter R. Hunt, Charles Bronson plays a Secret Service member named Jay Killian. Although Killian is used to guarding the President himself, he is charged with protecting the First Lady of the United States. While he considers this a demotion, matters are further complicated because the First Lady herself sees Killian’s presence as an inconvenience.

Occupations often lead to odd pairings and a bodyguard whose subject resents him certainly meets that description. While conflicting interests are enough to make this a tense situation, there are several other layers to the story that reflect common occurrences in the human experience.

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Sexual Tension Masked by Hostility

Anyone who’s been in the workforce has at some point experienced mutual attraction with a coworker. However, there are times when that attraction is frowned upon. It could be due to the fact that one party may be in a supervisory position. It could be that the company either has a written policy forbidding office romances or an unwritten rule stating they are less than ideal.

In Jack Killian’s case, the woman attracted to him is Lara Craig, who happens to be married to the President of the United States. Needless to say, they are strictly forbidden from becoming an item. As the story progresses, it becomes more and more clear that Lara finds Killian attractive. While she was initially insulting and dismissive, it seems it was all in an attempt to conceal her true feelings.

This becomes crystal clear when it is revealed that the President’s military injury rendered him impotent. A strong Secret Service member capable of fulfilling the roles of a relationship is a potentially threatening presence to a lonely wife starved for affection.

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Complicated Workplace Relationships

ASSASSINATION, Jill Ireland, Charles Bronson, 1987, (c)Cannon Films

Whoever came up with the phrase that “drummers get all the girls” never saw Secret Service Agent Jay Killian in action. Not only is he the First Lady’s forbidden fruit, he is also the object of desire for Agent Charlotte Chang. Killian has just gone through a divorce and Chang is hot on his trail. She relentlessly asks Killian to spend some “quality time” with her but he does his best to stick to his policy of not mixing work and pleasure.

However, after an exceptionally tough day at the office, Chang propositions him one more time. Against his better judgment, he gives in. When asked how she was able to finally convince him, he replies “You outlasted me,” with a sheepish grin. The next morning, he doesn’t seem to regret his decision. However, after she gives him a ride to the office, she makes the comment “I’ll be even better after the wedding.” It seems Agent Chang doesn’t want Killian to stay divorced for long.

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Hidden Agendas

Senator Hector Bunsen has been a good friend of the President’s for a very long time. Although he’s not a member of his cabinet, he remains one of his closest advisors. He’s also one of the few people who know about the war injury that rendered the President impotent.

Through carefully gathered intel, he’s learned of the First Lady’s plans to divorce the President after his first term in office. Fearing that this will destroy the President’s plan of getting re-elected for a 2nd term in office, Bunsen pays contract killers to assassinate the First Lady. For his part, Jay Killian makes several heroic efforts to save the First Lady’s life. He also has more than one face to face meeting with Bunsen, who appears very concerned about the First Lady’s safety and wellbeing.

It is only after tricking one of the mercenaries into confessing it was Bunsen who hired him, that Killian is able to confirm his hunch. Senator Bunsen has been pretending to care about the First Lady’s safety while simultaneously taking out a contract on her life. It is the ultimate contradiction and a scathing betrayal.

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Irrational Behavior Induced by Intense Scrutiny

Lara Craig is not accustomed to having her every move watched and her every action critiqued. Although she realizes her life is in danger, she desperately longs for a return to a normal existence.

She decides to take matters into her own hands by donning a disguise and making a dashing escape in a non-government vehicle. The only problem is, she can’t outsmart Jay Killian who follows her in his own car. When he tracks her down at the gas station she admits to trying to escape. Figuring it may be easier to evade the mercenaries on the run, Killian agrees to help the First Lady avoid the eyes of the public. Their journey leads them to a train ride, a boat trip across the lake, and eventually to her father’s property.

However, paid assassins don’t give up that easily; they make their most brazen assassination attempt yet by brandishing guns on her father’s property and attempting to kill her in broad daylight. It is at the end of this shootout, that Killian is able to corner a mercenary and force him to admit that Senator Bunsen was behind the entire plot.

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Final Analysis

Charles Bronson’s portrayal of Secret Service Agent Jay Killian is compelling. He is able to combine athletic foot pursuits, precision marksmanship and expert knowledge to bring his subject to life. As the plot is revealed, audiences will be drawn into the complicated interpersonal relationships as well as the action itself.

Only a man with great training and instincts could navigate the complicated path Jay Killian is given; only a man with great restraint could avoid having an affair with a beautiful woman who eventually admits she finds him attractive. Jay Killian is such a man. If you’re a fan of great action flicks with interesting subplots, make sure you watch Assassination starring Charles Bronson. You’ll be glad you did.