WARNING: I am about to reveal this film's secrets and ending because it isn't worth sitting through.
It seems that an increasing number of actors are finding the funding to produce their own movies, often directing as well as starring in them. (In this case Mr. Duvall also wrote the screenplay.) Some of these movies remind one of the "vanity press" business in which anybody can have their book published by paying for it themselves. Of course, some of these vanity productions have value only to their authors.
Assassination Tango suffers in the plot area. Why on earth would a group of Argentinian dissedents hire a hit man from New York? A guy who's never been in their country nor speaks its language? Who are they and where'd they get the money? We're told the intended victim is an unpunished criminal from the former military regime so the motive seems simple vengeance. All this assassination plot is sketchy in a way that doesn't encourage curiousity. The secret police are good enough to discover the hit man's identity and hotel, but aren't good enough to discover that he's moved across the street. The hit man hangs around in broad daylight and plain sight on a roof over the victim's back yard without being noticed. He gets to the victim and escapes efforlessly. He kills one guy at the airport who isn't missed by anyone, boards a plane without anyone else looking for him, and goes home to live happily ever after.
It also suffers from poor characterization. The victim is little more than a face to us. The plotters, dancers, and other Argentinians fill space. The hit man's girlfriend is incredibly gullible and lovey. Her 10-year-old daughter Way Too Precious.
The hit man himself, John, is ridiculous. A Man of Two Faces, he's one part cold blooded killer, one part doting mama's-boyfriend. He's portrayed as a loving grandfather figure to the girl and a distant father figure to her mom. He breaks his promise to the girl to make her birthday party because he's too busy killing someone. He forgets the girl's birthday present while chasing the tango dancers and cheating on her mom with a whore. He seems like bad news for a nice lady and her sweet daughter. He struts around acting tough to guys generations younger than himself. He comes across as too old for any of his roles. He's [I]always [/I] in front of the camera.
I guess all of us may end up wishing we'd been better people; tougher, sexier, more loving, more lovable, better dancers, whatever. Just because some turn these wishes into movies doesn't mean we need to see the embarassing results. There are better films on assassination and on the tango.