The Virtuoso is the 2021 action/crime/thriller movie written and directed by Nick Stagliano, starring Anthony Hopkins, Anson Mount (Black Bolt in The Inhumans), and Abbie Cornish (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Set in a remote backwoods township, Mount is a hired gun performing a new job given by Hopkins. When the self-proclaimed virtuoso finds himself in an odd spot, the story unfolds quietly in his peculiar predicament.
Moments: The Virtuoso is not great from beginning to end. Early on in the film, Stagliano teases the audience with some nondescript dialogue from Hopkins as The Mentor. Maybe Stagliano didn't feel comfortable directing the Academy Award-winning actor, but Hopkins spits out some natural delivery of the script; good enough to move on. The focal point of this film is on Mount’s assassin; along with every cliche contained in the voiceover. The narrative and direction aren't horrible but fail to elevate the first act as to separate itself from other films in the genre. As the second act begins, there's a lot of hope building up as the film begins to focus as the audience gets a little exhilarated as flavors of The Hateful Eight and The Accountant saturate the story. The supporting cast gives some moments of pleasure. It's never a bad thing to see David Morse, Eddie Marson, and Richard Brake step into scenes; a true collective of supporting cast class.
Hurtful Choices: It's not a spoiler to highlight that the voiceover itself is the protagonist. Despite being voiced by Anson Mount, the voiceover and the assassin do not coexist on-screen at times. This results in an awkward pace and frustration. Stagliano’s choice to have the voice-over tell the audience everything is something that inexperienced directors do. It rarely works. The score can also be very overpowering, especially early on. I think that The Virtuoso could have had a significantly better atmosphere if there was no score at all.
Doesn’t Take a Detective: Even with the cliches, poor score, and annoying voiceover The Virtuoso keeps your attention to the third act. The unfortunate thing is it's over in the blink of an eye with no shock value. Some will say it's predictable. Step-by-step The Virtuoso concludes just as predicted. The rigid performances that carry the final moments offer no sense of character progression.