Hit Man (2023)

May 26th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir. Richard Linklater. US.Comedy 2023. 113mins

Gary Johnson seems like just another dorky divorcee with his cats and Honda civic. But life is turned upside down when he takes on a “fake assassin’ job for the New Orleans Police Department, in Richard Linklater’s latest, a noir comedy, premiering at Venice.

Hit Man, a crowd-pleasing comedy to kick off the summer, is a real feel-good affair co-written by Linklater and Glen Powell who stars as the unlikely undercover cop who also lectures in philosophy at the city’s university. And despite geeky outside appearances Gary pulls off both roles convincingly in a confident comedy turn that sees him in different disguises and personas – from Russian gangster to Redneck – a far cry from the open-toed sandals and baggy jeans of his geeky prof role.

Gary poses as a jobbing gun for hire, snagging his victims with false assurances, these putative perps are then pounced on by a posse of police and dealt with by the strong arm of the law. That is until Gary falls for one unhappy wife called Madison (Adria Arjona) – and it seems the feeling is mutual – the two sharing a simmering chemistry, Gary rising to occasion in ways he never thought possible.

Madison wants rid of her husband, so Gary invents an alter ego in the shape of Ron so the two can get down and dirty without being “unprofessional”. Soon they’re scheming like Stanwyck and MacMurray, and Gary is soon out of his depth. Let’s remember Madison is contemplating murder while Gary is just a decent guy stroking his pussies! Luckily his colleagues are there to support him but will they come to the rescue before Gary finds himself in deep water?

The clever script and whip-smart dialogue ensures Hit Man never descends into farce or camp territor, Sandra Adair editing with deft aplomb. A welcome and enjoyable edition to the Linklater archive. MT


Copyright © 2024 Filmuforia