Over his long, distinguished, and award-winning career, Sir Anthony Hopkins has served up a plethora of great movies and memorable characters (Hello, Hannibal “Fava beans and a nice chianti” Lecter). Now, an Anthony Hopkins thriller is climbing the Hulu charts, sitting at #8, but it may not be the thriller you are thinking of. In fact, you may have never even heard of this movie.
The Virtuoso stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as The Mentor and as you’ll see, the remaining cast, which is excellent by the way, also employs “no names” much like Hopkins’ character.
Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) is the title character. Co-starring alongside Anthony Hopkins and Mount are Abbie Cornish as The Waitress, David Morse as The Sheriff, and Eddie Marsan as The Loner.
Mount’s Virtuoso is a professional assassin. He makes you aware of just how he got his name by telling you, as the narrator, in the film’s first ten minutes. We get it, you’re professional at what you do, you’re quite skilled and precise. Then why, after extolling all his virtues, does his present assignment go so bad? By bad, we’re talking, not only does the professional hitman take out his target, but he also causes a Winnebago to explode on a city street which causes the woman standing next to it to catch on fire and burn to death right in front of her horrified child. Are we in trouble here?
While The Virtuoso contemplates his professional failings, he is contacted by The Mentor (Anthony Hopkins), who has another job for him. Light on details, The Virtuoso is given an address and told to go to the rural diner and to be there by 5 p.m. The Virtuoso is professional, so he arrives right on time, except he arrives missing one key detail. The name or face of who he is supposed to kill.
When he gets to the diner, he is faced with decisions. Greeting him inside are The Loner, The Waitress, The Sheriff, and a couple who, by the way, has the closest thing to names – Handsome Johnnie and Johnnie’s Girlfriend.
The Virtuoso’s job becomes more difficult when none of the diner’s customers gives off the feeling of “you’re my next target.” So, The Virtuoso bides time by waiting for everyone to leave the diner. He then decides to follow them individually to try to root out his target. As bodies fall and “professional” turns into “rookie”, the goal of The Virtuoso, as well as its audience, is to try to solve the mystery of who his target actually is.
Sometimes, one must wonder what goes into the decision to star in such films. Take, for instance, Sir Anthony Hopkins in his role as The Mentor. His time on the big screen for this feature film isn’t much. In fact, it’s so little that he probably only took two days, three tops, to film his scenes.
Critically speaking, well, you can probably decipher what critics think about the movie as well as the Anthony Hopkins appearance in it. One critic compared Hopkins taking on the film to Michael Caine famously taking on the role as Hoagie Newcombe in the vastly unnecessary Jaws: The Revenge, the fourth and final film in the franchise. It is said that Caine purchased a nice, big home with his “winnings.”
Throughout his illustrious career, Anthony Hopkins has seen many highs. He is best known as Hannibal Lecter, a character he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1991 thriller The Silence of the Lambs. Hopkins would portray Lecter two more times, the first came ten years later in Ridley Scott’s Hannibal, and then the following year for the prequel, Red Dragon.
Anthony Hopkin saw an Academy win for The Silence of the Lambs was the first of two, his second coming most recently in the 2020 film, The Father. Of his many other notable films there is The Lion in Winter, The Elephant Man, 84 Charing Cross Road, Howards End, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Legends of the Fall, and Meet Joe Black.
Anthony Hopkins has also been a part of the MCU appearing as Thor’s father, Odin, in Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok. On top of Hopkins’ two Academy Award wins, he’s also been nominated four other times for The Remains of the Day, Nixon, Amistad, and The Two Popes.
With his appearance in The Virtuoso, one can hope this is not how Hopkins plans to ease into retirement if that is even his plan. The 83-year-old actor has two projects lined up and unfortunately, they seem to be taking on the same life as The Virtuoso. The first is titled Where Are You and the second is called Zero Contact and it appears both roles are not asking much of Sir Anthony’s abilities.
If you’re willing, head on over to Hulu and give The Virtuoso a try. We offer no guarantees that you will come away impressed with the final product but if you are a fan of Anthony Hopkins, then maybe seeing him on screen for those brief moments will be worth the viewing. Let us know.