The hunter is now the hunted
August 2, 2011 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me list stories where a paid assassin teams up with their target to fight off other assassins? I have some, would like more.

I remember this as being the plot from Grosse Point Blank -- John Cusack is hired to kill the father of his high school girlfriend. He has a change of heart and ends up defending his target from another assassin played by Dan Aykroyd.

Then there's Elektra where a similar thing occurs.

Are there some other films you can name where this happens? Is it a trope, or am I hitting on the only two instances?
posted by arniec to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:09 PM on August 2, 2011

The Bourne Identity and its sequels.
posted by 3FLryan at 6:10 PM on August 2, 2011

Nevermind, I didn't read the question carefully, the Bourne Identity has assassins fighting each other, but no changes of hearts as far as I can remember.
posted by 3FLryan at 6:15 PM on August 2, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Happens sometimes in the Aeon Flux cartoon series.
posted by hermitosis at 6:24 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Exiled features two pairs of hit men; one pair is sent to kill a childhood friend of both pairs, while the other pair steps in to defend him. Both pairs quickly decide to team up to defend their friend against a vengeful mob boss, and take his safety upon themselves. I'm not giving away any part of the movie by telling you this; the movie is very, very well-doneand bittersweet.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:25 PM on August 2, 2011

The Replacement Killers with Yun-Fat Chow and Mira Sorvino is exactly this's also a pretty entertaining movie.
posted by victoriab at 6:25 PM on August 2, 2011

Wild Target. It just became available on Netflix streaming yesterday (August 1st)!
posted by bCat at 6:25 PM on August 2, 2011

posted by bq at 6:27 PM on August 2, 2011

This is in the ballpark, and related tropes like Fire-forged Friends and Rivals Team Up may have some examples.
posted by Lorin at 6:28 PM on August 2, 2011

Red is a bit like this if I remember correctly.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:31 PM on August 2, 2011

War, Inc. is another John Cusack one.
posted by bleep at 6:46 PM on August 2, 2011

In Bruges is a recent example.
posted by Kattullus at 6:51 PM on August 2, 2011

posted by jourman2 at 6:51 PM on August 2, 2011

Formula 51 / The 51st State has that. Sort of. Also is has skinheads pooping themselves.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:55 PM on August 2, 2011

Um, Blade Runner. Check it out. Ridley Scott. If you read the book it's based on the two main women are copies of each other.
posted by effluvia at 7:47 PM on August 2, 2011

Ooh, Contract Killer (Sat sau ji wong, a.k.a. God's Assassin, a.k.a. The Hitman) is a great Hong Kong action flick that fits nicely. Features a young Jet Li just before he moved to American movies.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:48 PM on August 2, 2011

Not quite the same thing since he's a contract driver, not a contract killer, but a couple of the Transporter movies have something like this going on as a sub-plot in them.
posted by Alterscape at 7:59 PM on August 2, 2011

posted by spasm at 8:28 PM on August 2, 2011

Major major spoiler, but this ends up being the plot of Unknown.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:39 PM on August 2, 2011

Not a film, but the TV series Damages includes this trope.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:27 PM on August 2, 2011

Ha, I just watched the dumbest movie on Hulu that had this as a sort of plot twist: Kounterfeit (1997)

Also, the classic Coen Bros. flick Intolerable Cruelty.
posted by carsonb at 10:49 PM on August 2, 2011

Also, Out of the Past.
posted by carsonb at 10:51 PM on August 2, 2011

The first book in the Kitty Norville series has an assassin coming after her that she convinces is being used by bad people so he decides not to kill her pending his own investigation. They end up becoming friends and frequently teaming up to take down other people trying to kill her.
posted by magnetsphere at 6:12 AM on August 3, 2011

The International (2009, Tom Tykwer)
posted by dgeiser13 at 11:06 AM on August 3, 2011

I saw one on an international flight last year, but don't know enough details to get a result in imdb. It was about this guy who comes from a line of contract killers, and he is hired to kill this woman who I believe witnessed an art theft. It's a comedy of sorts; his old mom is pissed he doesn't finish the job and instead protects the woman from the thieves; mom is worried about damage to their family reputation as killers. There is another guy who ends up along on the adventure (they stay in hotel rooms, hide in the country at the killer's childhood home, etc), and the woman and the killer end up falling in love. Ring any bells? I want to say it was French but I'm not positive.
posted by JenMarie at 1:09 PM on August 3, 2011

JenMarie, that's Wild Target or the film it's based on Cible Emouvante.

Saw Wild Target last night, it's amusing.
posted by dragonplayer at 2:17 PM on August 3, 2011

Thanks, dragonplayer! I had wondered about that film on and off for awhile now. Also, I guess the woman was the thief, and I guess it's in English. The memory isn't what is used to be!

But yes, that is in the genre the OP is looking for (and I see it's already mentioned upthread)...
posted by JenMarie at 4:16 PM on August 3, 2011

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