The Killer Recap

At a party in San Francisco, IMF agent Tom Copperfield is attending a party held by Alfred Chambers. Matthew Drake comes in and sees Terry, goes out on the balcony, and prepares a small dart-shooter and a crystalline dart. Drake then goes back in, takes a glass of champagne, and shoots Tom with the dart. He leaves and Tom hallucinates bursting into flames. Panicking, Tom runs out on the balcony and falls to his death.

Later, Tom's family and friends gather for his burial. Former IMF team leader Jim Phelps watches from a distance, and then turns and walks away.

Jim goes to the docks and meets with an IMF contact. Once they exchange passwords, the contact directs Jim to a nearby boat and then says that Tom worked for a secret government agency. The man points out that Tom was the best team leader except for the man who trained him. Jim agrees and takes a DVD player from the contact's tackle box. it scans Jim's thumbprint, and the IMF voice welcomes Jim back. The Voice explains that Drake is a world-class assassin with an exclusive contract to an Underworld leader, only known by his codename Scorpio. Tom was moving in on Scorpio when Drake was ordered to kill Tom. Jim's mission is to prevent Drake's next murder and identify Scorpio.

Back at his apartment, Jim assembles a team of agents: actor and disguise expert Nicholas Black; top designer Casey Randall who helped the IMF trap the terrorist who killed her fiancé; Max Harte, who traveled to Vietnam to rescue his brother from a POW camp; and Grant Collier, son of IMF member Barney Collier and a technical genius in his own right.

The team members arrive at Jim's apartment and Jim informs them that Drake received orders to go to England. They know when his plane will arrive, and he's booked out on two separate flights that night under separate names. Drake has to make a phone call in London to learn the identity of his target, and Drake always uses a random method to kill his victims and always until the last moment to make the choice. Jim says that they have to get close to Drake and know what he's going to do at the same time he does. The London branch of the IMF will loan them the extra personnel they need, and Grant informs the others that they've picked a hotel of the type Drake favors with all previous identification removed. The team assures Jim that they won't lose Drake, well aware of what the mission means to Jim.

In London, Jim goes to the hotel where Casey and the IMF team are the hotel with surveillance gear. Drake's plane is an hour late, and Jim figures the delay could affect Drake making his prearranged call. Jim and Casey enter a hidden back room where Grant is tied into the airport radar screens. Drake's plane will touch down in three minutes, and Grant reports that he'll need 25 minutes to rig the hotel once Drake enters his cab.

At Heathrow, Max is posing as a taxi driver and waiting outside. Drake comes out and looks up hotels in a phone book. He picks one with a random letter and then goes over to Max's taxi. However, he then reconsiders and takes another taxi: with Nicholas driving. Nicholas says that he know where the hotel--the Raeburn--is. The team at the hotel go to work, setting up signs to confirm their hotel is the Raeburn. Meanwhile, Drake points out that the phonebook says that the Raeburn is 15 minutes away, and threatens to get another cab if Nicholas can't get there in the time promised. Nicholas has no choice but to agree and drives off, and Max follows him.

As they work, Jim figures that Drake has to be there on time to make his call. If they slow him down too much then he'll bolt. Grant goes out and rigs the street signs to show the address in the phonebook, and Casey puts a camera in the mirror of the hotel room they're preparing for Drake.

Max, posing as a policeman, pulls Nicholas' taxi over. Drake tells Nicholas to get it over with and he'll pay the fine. Max stalls as long as he can until Drake tells Nicholas that he'll get another cab. Jim, monitoring the conversation, tells Max to move and he gives Nicholas a ticket. They still need seven minutes, and Max goes on ahead and blocks the cab with a truck across the street. Drake says that he has to get to a phone booth and tells Nicholas to back up, just as an IMF-driven garbage truck pulls up behind them. When Drake starts to leave, Nicholas drives onto the sidewalk and around the truck.

Jim puts on a suit and goes to the front desk, posing as the manager. Casey distributes the last batch of magazines and then she and Grant go up to the hotel room they've selected. Nicholas pulls up and a disgusted Drake goes inside. He picks a room at random and upstairs, Grant and Casey put the correct number on the chosen room. Jim goes into the back room and tells Nicholas that he wanted to kill Drake. Nicholas assures him that no one will fault him for his emotion.

Nicholas practices imitating his voice from the recording they made of Drake checking in. Drake starts to call from the room phone, but then hangs up and goes downstairs. Jim goes out and watches as Drake goes outside to a phone booth. Max listens with a parabolic mike and they identify the phone number from the dial turns. Drake tells the contact, waiting at a hotel bar, to meet him at noon at the botanical gardens. He picks a white rose at random and tells the contact to wear it and he'll find her.

Nicholas then calls the number and, posing as Drake, tells her that he's changed his mind and wants her to come to the Raeburn. He gives her the address and a neighboring room, and tells her to meet her there in thirty minutes. Grant restores the street signs to normal, and Casey works on impersonating the contact's voice.

Drake is in his room practicing putting, and leaves early for the botanical gardens. The contact arrives and enters the lobby, passing Drake on the stairs. Nicholas is in the room and poses as Drake. She gives him a file and says that she pays off when he makes the hit. The target is an American union leader, William Braiton, and the newspaper article gives Braiton's location and the time he'll be there. The team takes a photo of Grant and substitutes him in the news article for Braiton.

Casey, wearing a white rose, takes the file and goes to the botanical gardens to meet Drake. She gives him the file and says that he's famous, and Drake says that he isn't looking for fame. Bluffing, he says that she's not the woman he talked to on the phone. Casey doesn't flinch, and Drake says that he might stay another night after she pays him. He walks to the hotel where Grant is, and Max follows him.

At the hotel, Grant convinces Braiton to cooperate with them. They have a dummy to use if Drake tries a sniper shot, but Jim warns that Drake is unpredictable.

Max loses Drake in traffic when they're separated by a bus. He radios Jim and tells him the situation. Jim informs Grant, who refuses to call it off despite the fact that they can't cover the entire hotel. Max meets Jim out front and they split up to cover the entrances as best they can.

Drake enters the hotel through the service entry and breaks into the room below Braiton's once he confirms that it's empty. The assassin calls Braiton's room to confirm that his target is there and, posing as a union leader, asks to come up in fifteen minutes. Grant agrees and Jim figures that Drake can't be far. Meanwhile, Drake cuts a whole in the ceiling, wads up the golf balls he was putting with earlier that are made of plastic explosive, and attaches them to the floor of Braiton's room. His watch is an electronic timer, and he inserts it into the wad of explosive.

As the team covers the hotel, Max sees Drake leaving and warns Jim. Jim realizes that something is wrong and tells Grant to get out. Grant runs out of the room just as the bomb goes off, and the explosion throws him through the door. Nicholas confirms that he's okay, and Max follows Drake.

That night, Drake returns to the Raeburn and his hotel room. Casey is waiting and prepares to shoot him. He tries to run but she cuts him off and says that Scorpio sent her. Drake hits the light switch, disarms Casey, and shoots her with her own gun. He promises to teach Scorpio about loyalty, wipes down the gun, collects his things, and leaves. Nicholas comes in and confirms that Casey is fine thanks to the blood packs and fake bullets.

Drake flies to San Francisco and goes to Alfred's penthouse. the IMF team gathers outside and Max informs Jim that the police are on their way. Upstairs, Alfred enters his penthouse and sits at his desk, and Drake shoots him with a dart. The assassin tells Alfred that he should be flattered he killed him the same way he killed Tom, and Alfred goes for a hidden gun. Drake has already taken out the bullets, but Alfred throws a letter opener into Drake's stomach.

Alfred jumps to his death, and the EMTs take out Drake on a stretcher. He sees the IMF team and realizes that the entire thing was a setup.

Later, Jim goes to the cemetery. The others join him and ask what he's going to do now, and Jim says that he's going to stay rather than break up a nice team.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 17, 2017