This week I was planning to talk about another book, but my mind has been consumed with something ever since I watched the movie, Kate. While I enjoy the movie a lot, some plot points made me question the way writers use assassins as main characters. For years I loved stories about assassins. Ever since the video game Skyrim I have been obsessed with stories about assassins and contract killers. The problem is lately they have been using the same storylines in most of the stories or movies I have read and seen.
There are three main storylines you are likely to see in assassin’s story. 1) The assassin must join up with a family member of a former target and lie about their involvement. 2) The villain of the story usually turns out to be the assassin’s employer or someone close to the assassin. 3) The assassin messes up one contract and is on a revenge quest. These storylines have been done before and done well but it got to the point where if your main character is an assassin then it feels like you are required to use one or all these storylines in your work.
I don’t know when these generic storylines started but the first time I encountered it was in the movie Hitman based on a video game of the same name. For a while, you saw the same type of story in every assassin story and then a movie called John Wick changed up the formula and for a while, I thought we would get something new. Lately, I have been a bit disappointed because it feels like when it comes to assassin stories writers are going back to what feels comfortable and not willing to take any risks.
Matthew J. Croutch