As Chloë Sevigny sets her sights on SBS On Demand as transgender assassin Mia in Hit & Miss, we take a shot at the movie hitmen and women who combine sharpshooting skills with a killer point of difference.
Ah Jong - The Killer
Chow Yun Fat stars as Ah Jong, an honorable hitman wracked with guilt after he accidentally blinds a singer during a nightclub shootout. One last job will pay for her sight-saving cornea transplant, but Jong finds himself in the crosshairs of double-crossing triad bosses, the police and low-flying slo-mo doves. Heavily inspired by Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï, high-octane The Killer is John Woo’s melodramatic masterpiece, a ballistic ballet of heroic bloodshed.
Nikita - La Femme Nikita
The film that launched an army of sultry assassins, plus a US remake and a TV series to boot, Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita stars Anne Parillaud as a teen sentenced to life in prison after murdering a policeman. She is given a get out of jail free card of sorts; train to become a killing machine or be killed. Begrudgingly choosing the staying alive option, she discovers she has a talent for her new career path and diplomats start to look nervously over their shoulders.
Anton Chigurh - No Country For Old Men
Javier Barden took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Anton Chigurh, the sociopathic contract killer with penchant for captive bolt pistols, alarming hairstyles, and death-defying games of chance. The bad guy in the Coen brother’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s seminal novel, Chigurh is on the hunt for Josh Brolin’s chancer and a satchel stuffed full of dollars. In one tension dripping moment he flips a coin, the potential victim unaware that the wrong guess will mean his death.
Hanna – Hanna
Since the age of two, Hanna has been trained by her ex-CIA operative father Erik (Eric Bana) to be a skilled assassin. Now 15 years old, and played by Saoirse Ronan, Hanna is a cute-as-a-button killing machine and an evil Cate Blanchett wants her. Dead or alive. Directed by Atonement director Joe Wright and playing like a dark fairy tale, this coming of age actioner, driven by a pumping soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers, proves that killing ability has nothing to do with size.
Ichi - Ichi the Killer
Based on Hideo Yamamoto’s manga series, Takashi Miike’s Ichi The Killer is the sick, twisted and bruising story of two feuding Yazuka gangs and the mentally-unstable individual being manipulated to kill gangsters from both sides of the dueling factions. Ichi is a timid and tormented killing machine who becomes sexually aroused when angry and is first introduced masturbating while watching a pimp assault a prostitute. We told you it was sick and twisted.
Leon – Leon: The Professional
Leon, played by Jean Reno, is a “cleaner”. He is also a socially inadequate loner whose only friends are the Mafioso who hires him (Danny Aielo) and a potted plant. This all changes when he meets Matilda (Natalie Portman), a precocious twelve-year-old girl who wants Leon to teach her the ways of the assassin. With an unhinged performance by Gary Oldman as the cop who kills Matilda’s family, Luc Besson’s thriller pulls at the heartstrings while the bullets fly.
Martin Blank - Grosse Point Blank
Martin Blank (an über-cool performance by an oh-so-cool John Cusack) is bored of life and, in-particular, his dead-end job as a professional killer. He's also refusing to join a killer union set up by his arch-rival, played by Dan Ackroyd. Heading to his 10-year high school reunion at Grosse Point, Blank tries to win his high school crushes heart, while bullets fly, and the Pixies scream on the killer soundtrack.
Raymond Shaw - The Manchurian Candidate
Based on the novel by Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate’s assassin is an unwitting killer. Brainwashed by his mother (Angela Lansbury) to take to arms in a communist uprising, Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is oblivious to the political machinations that surround him until he is dealt a bad hand of cards. With a stellar cast led by Frank Sinatra and a plot that inspired Zoolander, John Frankenheimer’s satirical thriller still resonates today.
How does Mia, the transgender assassin star of Hit & Miss compare against cinemas most deadly? Find out for yourself with the show now streaming on SBS On Demand: