CANNES–As slick as an ad for designer biker wear, “The Silencer” presses all the right buttons. Knowing mix of softcore tease and style-trash visuals wrapped around a “La Femme Nikita” ripoff plot should be a strong performer in its target markets, with plenty of action in video.
Lynette Walden is a professional hit woman lured out of retirement by former employer (the Agency) to waste five sleazebags behind an L.A. child-slave ring.
Hot on her trail is former lover Chris Mulkey, who follows her exploits on an arcade vidgame called “The Silencer.” He’s more interested in getting her back into “the game” rather than the sack.
Pic quickly settles down into a series of set-pieces, with Walden changing her wardrobe for each hit and working off her frustrations between times with bemused b.f. Paul Ganus.
Aside from Mulkey’s gravel-voiced commentary on her performance, the computer-generated script’s only other subplot is Walden’s female solidarity with a black street girl (Brook Parker).
Debuting director Amy Goldstein delivers the goods on every level, with occasional upfront humor adding to the knowing tone.
In her first leading role, Walden, tops in the sex appeal department, maintains her femininity in the action sequences, cut and framed to show her “Madonna with a pistol” to best effect. Mulkey (“Twin Peaks”) is serviceable as her leather-clad nemesis.
Largely shot in L.A. back streets and alleys, pic is technically top drawer, with a pumping rock soundtrack and eye-popping costumes. Nudity and violence are relatively restrained.