To have your consciousness transferred to another body sounds really cool. Remember “Source Code” (2011) starring Jake Gyllenhaal? But keeping in mind the lust for war that humans have, what if someone decides to turn this concept into a reality, developing such technology and weaponizing it? This is what “Assassin” deals with. However, while the concept is interesting, especially the ending, the film fails to have the intended impact, thanks to a lazy story and even lazier acting. Here’s more on the film:
‘Assassin’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Alexa and her husband have both served in the army. But for the last 3 months, Sebastian has been in a coma. Upon reaching out to Valmora, the guy who recruited Sebastian, Alexa finds out that her husband’s consciousness is inside a bug that international smuggler Adrian Delorio is presently in possession of. Valmora had Sebastian’s consciousness transferred to Delorio’s crypto guy to get close to him, presumably to bring him in. Unfortunately, Delorio sensed that something was wrong and shot his crypto guy, took out the bug from the neck (the cervical spine), and kept it with himself, thereby trapping Sebastian’s consciousness and sending his body into a coma. It seems that Delorio, too, has the technology and has gotten Senator John Harmon killed by one of his aides who has no memory of the crime. Now, it is up to Alexa to track down Adrian, get her hands on Sebastian’s bug, and bring Sebastian back from the coma. Whether she is able to do it, and if yes, how is what “Assassin” clarifies.
Future Of Drone Warfare
As surreal as it is, hacking into a person’s consciousness is something that may become a reality in the not-too-distant future. Elon Musk’s Neuralink aims to develop human-computer interfaces by installing a chip in the human brain. This is supposed to enable us to interact better with computers and other machines later on, too. If there is a chip, it will have a program, and a program is hackable. This brings in the possibility that a person might also be controlled by someone who has hacked the chip. In “Assassin,” the chip (or bug) is highly advanced and can store a digital map of a person’s consciousness. If this chip is injected into another person, he or she can be controlled by the person whose consciousness is in the chip.
Meanwhile, the latter goes into a state of deep sleep and has to remind himself or herself that the body he or she is in is not his or hers. A continuous reminder of this eventually brings their consciousness back to their body. However, the problem is that with a regular transfer of consciousness between two bodies, a person starts getting confused as to which body is truly his or hers. This is what happens with Alexa, and to a greater extent, with Sebastian.
While Alexa manages to cope with her consciousness, Sebastian loses track of his and doesn’t remain himself. Sebastian, due to the continuous transference of his consciousness to multiple people, began to lose his mind. He then decided to find a new body forever in the very person he was chasing, i.e., Adrian Delorio. So, if, as per Valmora, this technology is the future of drone warfare, where the drone is the human inside whom the consciousness will be transferred, the risks are much higher compared to its rather questionable advantages. What if the person whose consciousness is inside the subject decides not to return after the job is done? Or, much worse, what if someone manages to get inside a high-ranking official, e.g., the president of a country? This could potentially lead to a world war scenario. As weird as it is, this film addresses a human, the subject, as a drone. Is this where we are headed? Developing more advanced machines and, in the process, becoming more and more like them?
‘Assassin’ Ending Explained – Does Alma Bring Sebastian Out Of The Coma?
Alexa transfers herself into Mali, a painter whom Adrian likes, and, to manipulate him emotionally, makes love to him, not knowing that it is Sebastian inside Adrian. In other words, it isn’t Mali and Adrian making love, but Alexa and Sebastian. Towards the end of the film, Alexa finds out that Sebastian has come out of the coma. This happened after she killed Adrian, which returned Sebastian’s consciousness to his own body. She finds out that Sebastian left her because he wasn’t able to cope with the trauma. He even pulls a gun on Olivia, the woman who headed the mission.
Alexa shoots Sebastian, breaking down in front of his lifeless body. She waited for him all this time and finally managed to bring him back —only to have to kill him. Sebastian’s reaction is what we spoke about earlier, i.e., being unable to recognize his own body. It is our body, not our consciousness, that gives us our identity. It is the only tangible aspect that has ever differentiated all the species in the world. Needless to say, a sense of the body is also ingrained in our DNA. So, Sebastian’s reaction is justified because his consciousness is trying to go against thousands of years of human evolution. This is painful, to say the least. So the concept of drone warfare in the film and in general is indeed frightening if we think about it.
What’s curious is that at the end of “Assassin,” we see that Mali’s psyche has managed to “support” Alexa’s consciousness, and Alexa can easily transfer her consciousness to Mali without any trouble. They are staying together, and Mali is now a mother to the baby she had with Adrian. But we know that when they made love, Adrian had Sebastian’s consciousness while Mali had Alexa’s, so the baby born is Alexa’s and Sebastian’s as well. Although Alexa and Mali seem to be doing well in their “consciousness” relationship, the film has already proven that it isn’t healthy. In all probability, there will come a time when both will share the same single consciousness. Is this manageable? We leave the answer to you.
“Assassin” is a 2023 thriller drama film directed by Jesse Atlas.