''Assassins'' is a 1995 action film, directed by Creator/RichardDonner. It involves the competition between two rival assassins, one an older, veteran assassin and the other a reckless younger challenger eager to become the top assassin in the world. The main stars were Creator/SylvesterStallone, Creator/AntonioBanderas and Creator/JulianneMoore.

The senior assassin is Robert Rath, (Stallone) a rather sober and efficient man who always gets his target while also making a point of minimizing or avoiding collateral damage. However Rath is becoming tired of the job and increasingly thinking of retirement, and whether or not the people he works for will even let him retire. The younger guy is Miguel Bain, (Banderas) who is pretty much a psychopath who turned his hobby into a profession. He is also a competitive rising star in the field and looking for ways to increase his reputation. Undermining or even killing old guys such as Rath is just one more way to do that.

The two first cross paths when they are sent after the same target. Rath tries to force a confrontation and learn who sent Bain, but Bain fights him to a stalemate and escapes. Both of them are once again sent after the same target, this time a woman called Electra (Moore), a surveillance expert and information thief. Someone is very interested in the latest files she stole. Finding himself unable to kill the woman, Rath decides to save her and retire on the spot. Too bad his retirement starts with Bain chasing both of them.

The main scriptwriters, [[Creator/TheWachowskis Lana and Lilly Wachowski]], ended up protesting several changes in their script, which they felt made the final product too different from what they had conceived. This did not prevent them from selling to the same producer, Joel Silver, a second script they had completed alongside Assassins. ''Film/TheMatrix'' would not be ready for release until 1999.

Not to be confused with the [[Theatre/{{Assassins}} Broadway musical of the same name]].

!!This film provides examples of:

* AxCrazy: Miguel Bain.
* AssholeVictim: It's strongly implied that Rath only went after bad guys while he was working as an assassin. Of the two targets we see him (try to) kill, one was another assassin who took all the messy jobs [[NeverHurtAnInnocent that Rath refused to take]], and another a corrupt billionaire who supplied South American death squads.
* BadHabits: Bain dresses as a priest.
* ChekhovsGun: Jasmine, the sunglasses...
* TheChessmaster: Both Rath and Bain are being manipulated by their employer [[spoiler:who is an old friend of Rath's that Rath believes he killed long ago]].
* ClusterFBomb
* ComeWithMeIfYouWantToLive
* ConcealmentEqualsCover: {{Averted}}. Walls and other minor obstructions provide no innate cover throughout the film, and both assassins frequently try to kill each other by shooting right through them.
* ConspicuouslyPublicAssassination: The funeral hit, as it's the only occasion the mark is out in the open.
* ContractOnTheHitman: Rath carries out one of these early in the movie, leading him to suspect that he won't just be allowed to retire. He's right.
* CopKiller: Miguel Bain is almost casual about blowing away any police officer who gets in his way. When there's a manhunt underway for Bain, Rath berates him for being so stupid/psycho to attract attention by killing cops.
* DeliberatelyBadExample: Bain in comparison to Rath.
* DisturbedDoves: Pigeons flock in the opening scene in place of a silenced gunshot, when Rath shoots Nikolai.
* FakeOutMakeOut: Two Interpol agents, guarding a room where their colleagues are setting up a sting operation to try to catch Electra, do this but they can't fool Miguel, who plugs them both (as well as a hotel maid who witnesses the killings) and then confiscates their ID's and weapons.
* FakingTheDead: [[spoiler:Rath's old partner, Nikolai]].
* {{Foreshadowing}}/ChessMotifs: Early on, Rath examines an incomplete chess game between him and his former partner Nikolai after Bain whispers "Bishop takes Rook Pawn". The move turns out to be the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_gift_sacrifice Greek gift sacrifice]], a powerful attack. This [[{{Foreshadowing}} foreshadows]] that Rath is an [[UnwittingPawn Unwitting Rook Pawn]], [[spoiler:and his original opponent is TheChessmaster]].
* GunpointBanter: {{Justified}} as Rath and Bain are talking in a [[NotMyDriver stolen taxi]] with a sheet of bulletproof glass between them. And Bain still tries to shoot Rath anyway, just in case the glass isn't tough enough.
* GunsAkimbo: Assassin Miguel Bain frequently duel wields pistols on his missions.
* HistoryRepeats: Taken almost to extremes. Bain's actively trying to force it, which Rath takes advantage of.
* HitmanWithAHeart: Rath, but not Bain. Somewhat {{deconstructed}}, since it's revealed right at beginning of the movie that his employers just sent another guy whenever he refused to kill someone and that Rath is fully aware of this.
* HollywoodLaw: Interpol does not have field agents and cannot arrest anyone, so there are no gun-wielding sting operations. The organization simply networks national police forces to help them solve crimes. While flattering, they're also not comparable to the CIA, as Rath claims.
* HotBlooded: Miguel Bain.
* InterpolSpecialAgent: They conduct a sting against Electra, which gets them all killed by Bain.
* LargeHam: Bain. A lot.
* LickedByTheDog: Electra's cat taking a liking to Rath is one indication that he's at least a halfway-decent guy despite being a contract killer.
* MacGuffin: The disc containing [[spoiler:information about the organization of assassins]].
* MeaningfulName: ''Rath'', Bane... er, ''Bain'', and Electra.
* MistakenIdentity: Bain kills Electra's roommate, believing she was her.
* MysteriousEmployer: Robert Rath is a hitman who never meets his employer face to face, communicating only by text through a secured connection. Apparently it's the same deal with all his employees. His identity turns out to be [[spoiler:Nikolai, Rath's old mentor whose "death" still haunts him.]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: You probably don't want to get involved with guys named Rath or Bain or a girl named Electra who apparently cares more about her cat than men.
* NeckSnap: After Bain is arrested and put in a police car, he disposes of a cop sitting in the driver's seat by kicking out the side window and breaking his neck from behind. Using only one hand.
* NotMyDriver: Rath uses a stolen taxi to pull this on Bain, but he realizes what's happening just in time.
* OlderHeroVsYoungerVillain
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: Rath wants to quit but he keeps coming back because of money.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Miguel [[spoiler:kills Rath's boss/partner because he wants to be "Number 1", and for this he has to kill Rath himself. It doesn't work.]]
* PrecisionFStrike / ClusterFBomb: Bain goes on a profane tirade against his mysterious employer during an online conversation when the latter reassigns the contract because of the former's failure.
* ProfessionalKiller: If you couldn't tell from the title.
* PsychoForHire: Bain.
* RedOniBlueOni: Bain and Rath, both assassins, but with wildly different mannerisms and temperaments.
* ResignationsNotAccepted
* RightForTheWrongReasons: Bain figures out where Electra is by checking which car was used recently enough for the hood to be warm. He gets it right, but she arrived on foot and it's a complete coincidence.
* RoomDisservice: {{Played with}}. Rath is more than aware of this tactic, and is very suspicious (and has his gun ready) when room service comes knocking, but Electra confirms that she did actually order something.
--> '''Rath:''' You should tell me these things!
* RussianGuySuffersMost: Rath's former partner. [[spoiler:Subverted.]]
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: "That's no way to talk to a lady". Appears twice on a computer screen, revealing that Rath and Bain have the same employer, and then spoken later by [[spoiler:Nikolai]].
* SurvivorGuilt: Rath has this regarding the death of Nikolai.
* ThatsWhatIWouldDo: Rath can anticipate some of Bain's moves because it's just what he would have done (or did).
** This is also because Bain has a thing for reproducing old assassinations, including one he got from Roman history.
* UnknownRival: Miguel Bain.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:Both Rath and Bain are being manipulated by their employer, Rath's old friend Nikolai]].
* ViewerFriendlyInterface: Rath uses a computer to talk to his contract provider. The chat program he uses has a whopping ''two'' lines of text, probably to accommodate the enormous fonts. It's also [[BeepingComputer incredibly noisy]], with constant prompts for inputs.
* VisualPun: Miguel loses his rifle when he's slammed up against an anti-NRA sign.
* WouldHitAGirl: Bain has no compunctions whatsoever about killing women; not only does he kill a female police officer, Interpol agent and a hotel maid in the course of his attempt to get to Electra, he threatens Electra with cutting her heart out after he fails to intercept the data she's sending, and only a little bit later kills another innocent woman who's walked into the middle of the gun battle between himself and Rath in Electra's apartment building (though likely under the mistaken belief that she's Electra).
* WouldHurtAChild: {{Invoked}} by Bain when he prepares to snipe a nearby girl playing football to make Rath back down, knowing that his rival holds [[WouldntHurtAChild the opposite view]].