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Review: Hit Man. Silly summer vibes, beautiful people, and easy plot

  • Release year: 2024
  • Director: Richard Linklater.
  • Producers: Jason Bateman, Mike Blizzard, Michael Costigan, Richard Linklater and Glen Powell.
  • Screenplay by: Richard Linklater and Glen Powell.
  • Cinematography by: Shane F. Kelly.
  • Music by: Graham Reynolds.

Synopsis: a man who poses as a hitman for the police meets a woman in a toxic marriage who wants to kill her husband. He falls in love with her, with wild consequences.

Shotgun Commentary: entertaining, sexy, and upbeat example of the loosest way in which one can consider their movie “based on real life”.

Gary Johnson (Glen Powell) and Madison (Adria Arjona).
Source: Hit Man (Richard Linklater, 2023).

Review

Hit Man is a romcom about a man who pretends to be a hitman and a woman who tries to hire him. Gary Johnson (Glen Powell), is a psychology teacher who works for the police identifying and capturing people who pretend to hire someone to kill for them. One of those people is Madison (Adria Arjona). She wants Gary to kill her husband, but he persuades her to not go ahead with the contract.

While entertaining, don’t expect the surprise of the month nor your mind to be blown. Despite its marketing as an action comedy, this film is more of a very average romcom. In fact, despite featuring some comedy in the form of Glen Powell putting on costumes for giggles, it is more rom, than com. Dark and somewhat intriguing, but a romance movie nonetheless.

Rapidly deflating plot

The beginning is quite promising. An awkward man discovers his natural talent and uses it for good in an imaginative and humorous way. Sadly, from the moment Gary meets Madison, the feature becomes simple and predictable. After their original meet-cute, their relationship loses all appeal.

Madison (Adria Arjona) and Gary Johnson (Glen Powell).
Source: Hit Man (Richard Linklater, 2023).

Instead of evolving with thrillers twists and turns, it drowns in clichés, cuddling puppies and playing with random children out of nowhere included, like that is not somewhat creepy in this day and age. The whole relationship develops like that, one romcom cliché after another. The main (and arguably only) point of interest being the physical beauty of the couple. Yes, Powell and Arjona are gorgeous people. Still, that is not enough to make you oblivious to the fact that you are seeing absolutely nothing new.

You may be wondering, how can it be unoriginal if the story is based on a real person that has never been mentioned on cinema before? Well, the answer is easy, the only based-on-real-life facts about the film are the protagonist’s name and his profession. Yes, 99% of the film is not true at all. You may suspect this when the puppies and children appear, but it is made painfully obvious after twenty minutes of blatant thirst bait that contributes the exact amount of zero to the plot.

At least the subplot is… never mind

What about the part of the plot that is not about their relationship? Well, it is composed of a rogue cop, students and co-workers thirsting over Gary, and the laziest police investigation in cinema history. Overall, not great in the creativity department.

Madison (Adria Arjona) and Gary Johnson (Glen Powell).
Source: Hit Man (Richard Linklater, 2023).

There is one scene of a fake fight between the protagonists that is very entertaining. Other than that, the story flows smoothly, never getting outside of comfort or pushing any boundaries. It could do with either more thriller, or more comedy, but alas, it was not meant to be.

Know what you’re getting into

It is important to state that Hit Man is an enjoyable movie if you are looking for an easy piece of entertainment that won’t require more than 5% of your attention. It is quite upbeat, and its dark humour, kinda charming.

Powell had a lot of fun playing his character and this is made very clear on screen, which in turn spreads that same positive energy to the audience. Arjona, for her part, also delivers a charming performance, enough to make you root for Madison despite her toxic nature.

Madison (Adria Arjona) and Gary Johnson (Glen Powell).
Source: Hit Man (Richard Linklater, 2023).

All in all, Hit Man is an ok piece of summer entertainment. It relies too much on the charm of the cast instead of actually delivering an engaging thriller, but as far as romcoms go, it is not half bad. Any Arjona or Powell fans with definitely enjoy watching it. However, if you are attracted to it for the thriller, I suggest Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). If you are in it for the makeup techniques, Glow Up (2019 – present). And if you just want to witness an actor playing multiple personalities, stop playing around and watch Split (2016).

Advice to take from this movie:

  • Hiring a hitman is the best way to get caught before you actually get the chance to kill someone.
  • You can’t hide the lack of imagination behind a beautiful cast.
  • Don’t take drinks from people you are threatening, seems pretty obvious, but apparently some people still need to read this.
Gary Johnson (Glen Powell). Source: Hit Man (Richard Linklater, 2023).

What’s your take? Have you watched Hit Man? What did you think of the story? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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