50 Greatest Movie Assassins

Zoolander (2001)

The Assassin: "Really really good looking" model Derek Zoolander, brainwashed into assassinating the Malaysian PM to protect cheap labour for the fashion industry.

Weapon Of Choice: Relax' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood - the trigger song that activates Zoolander's conditioning.

Coolest Element: Even when not a programmed killer, Zoolander can bestill a beating heart with his patented look, 'Blue Steel.'

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones (2002)

The Assassin: Hapless killer Zam Wesell (Leeanna Walsman), hired to assassinate Zam Wesell.

Weapon Of Choice: It hardly matters - whether preferring bomb or venomous alien, she never gets the job done.

Coolest Element: She's a shape-shifter; her natural form is reptilian.

Kung-Fu Hustle (2004)

The Assassins: The Harpists (Gar Hong-hay and Fung Hak-on).

Weapon Of Choice: A Chinese harp, which they can somehow play in such a way it fires sonic swords at victims.

Coolest Element: Identical smocks, hats and shades, like the Oriental Blues brothers.

Get Carter (1971)

The Assassin: A London gangland hitman known only as 'J' (Karl Howard) and hired to, as the title suggests, 'get' Jack Carter (Michael Caine).

Weapon Of Choice: A Remington sniper rifle, ideal for the long-distance mopping up of loose ends.

Coolest Element: Watch the opening of the film again. Carter's killer is on the same London-Newcastle train as Jack.

Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

The Assassin: Hertz (Paul Giamatti), a hitman on the hunt for a baby.

Weapon Of Choice: State-of-the-art Hammerson guns; Hertz has first dibs because the gunmaker is his client.

Coolest Element: The hitman's ethos - "Guns don't kill people. But they sure help."

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)

The Assassin: Mob snitch Jimmy 'The Tulip' Tudeski (Bruce Willis), living in anonymity in Montreal after ratting out his gang.

Weapon Of Choice: Existentialism. As he tells neighbour Oz Oseransky (Matthew Perry), "it's not important how many people I kill. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive."

Coolest Element: The Tulip's effect on excitable wannabe hitwoman Jill (Amanda Peet).

Ichi The Killer (2000)

The Assassin: Ichi (Nao Omori).

Weapon Of Choice: Rage. 90% of the time he's a cowardly cry-baby, but get him angry and he goes loco.

Coolest Element: Psychologically conditioned with false memories, Ichi is roused by the mistaken belief that his targets are the same people who bullied him in high school.

The American (2010)

The Assassin: Is The American's name Jack? Or Edward? Oh heck, who cares? It's George Clooney.

Weapon Of Choice: Technically, he's not a hitman but a gunsmith, so he builds reliable sniper rifles to suit requirements.

Coolest Element: Unflappable even on the run, he's found a picturesque Italian village to hide out in. There are worse places to live.

The Boondock Saints (1999)

The Assassin: The notorious Il Duce (Billy Connolly), hired to take out the Boondock Saints, aka Connor and Murphy McManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus).

Weapon Of Choice: A portable arsenal of handguns, held in place by a bespoke gun vest.

Coolest Element: Il Duce is really the McManus' dad.

Branded To Kill (1967)

The Assassin: Japan's enigmatic Number One Killer (Koji Nanbara).

Weapon Of Choice: Mind games - his method is break down victims mentally before completing the hit.

Coolest Element: He announces to Goro Hanada, the Number Three Killer, that he plans to kill him - and then moves in with him.