Richard Donner's ASSASSINS takes that most venerable of Western conceits -- the aging gunman bedeviled by an itchy-fingered young acolyte who can only enter the pantheon by killing his idol -- and translates it into glossy contemporary terms. But
Donner doesn't just adapt the parable, he guts it, tossing away the moral and emotional substance and concentrating on the shiny, soulless surface. ASSASSINS looks great -- especially the black-and-white opening sequence, all tricked out with portentous clocks and fluttering birds (Look, Ma:
symbols!) -- but it's numbingly cold and pointless.
Robert Rath (Sylvester Stallone) is a contract killer, an assassin whose targ...