Hit Man

            This film, the fourth collaboration between Glen Powell and Richard Linklater, is a unique blend of action and comedy. ‘Hit Man’ is not just a movie; it’s an audition for Powell’s range and worth as a star. The film, acquired by Netflix out of the film festival circuit last year, is timed for theaters and streaming beforeTwisters,” also starring Powell, to pack a one-two punch for the rising star. As the face of the film, the ambitious Powell is also the co-writer and a producer on the compact action flick. The most commercial film of Linklater’s distinguished career, it’s an enjoyable, better than it should be, quirky film that will play equally well on the big screen or at home on Netflix.

            During the day, Gary Johnson (Powell) is a psychology professor in Houston. Nerdy, experienced in technology, has cats instead of friends and isn’t the guy out on a Friday night with a girlfriend. However, what no one knows about Gary is that he is a hit man; he doesn’t kill people or even get closer to danger but portrays hit men as desperate people looking for a way out of a situation. Gary caters his hitman persona to the client; if they hire him, the local cops move in, arrests are made, and Gary is home grading papers before nightfall. He takes his work seriously; wigs, accents, and fake teeth are his creative outlet. Yet when he gets too involved with a client, the lines between Gary and the hitman blur, as does his judgment. This transformation of Powell’s character is a testament to his acting skills.

"Powell brings the right amount of Deadpool, Captain America, and McConaughey on a modest scale."

            As with most Linklater films, you can’t putHit Manin a clearly defined box. It’s hilarious, at times sexy, goofy, and even suspenseful. To his credit, Powell makes the film work. He brings the right amount of Deadpool, Captain America, and McConaughey on a modest scale. In one film, Powell displays a range that would take other up-and-comers various projects to accomplish. It’s as if he is hurrying to become a household name.Hit Manisn’t an awards contender nor a blow-your-socks-off game changer. Expectations should be adjusted accordingly. It’s a solid film with a witty premise and execution.

            The plot leans increasingly toward romantic comedy; it sustains its twists and turns throughout most of the running time. Like most of Linklater’s work, this, too, is based on and inspired by actual events. Linklater enjoys shining a light on ordinary people doing anything but everyday things. Adria Arjona (Los Frikis, Andor)is also excellent as the mysterious client/love interest. Both with chemistry and holding her own with the charismatic Powell, the two are a well-teamed on-screen pair. 

Final Thought

Hit Man showcases Glen Powell's range as an actor, writer, and producer.


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