Hit Man movie review: Quirky but not exactly entertaining

15 June,2024 05:25 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Johnson Thomas

Serving up a hit man as a pop culture fantasy, this Richard Linklater directorial, may have seemed like a great idea but the execution isn’t all that happening

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Cast: Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao, Molly Bernard, Evan Holtzman, Mike Markoff
Director: Richard Linklater
Rating: 2.5/5
Runtime: 115 min

Serving up a hit man as a pop culture fantasy, this Richard Linklater directorial, co-written by the lead star himself, Glen Powell, may have seemed like a great idea but the execution isn't all that happening.

The premise has a mild-mannered professor moonlighting as a fake contract killer, which in turn leads to sparking of a chain reaction of trouble once he falls for a client.

Very loosely based on a true story, "Hit Man" stars Glen Powell as Gary Johnson, a New Orleans-based professor who has been assisting the police department with menial tasks like planting bugs and connecting wires in the surveillance van. When an agent named Jasper (Austin Amelio) gets suspended, Gary is expected to step in and improvise on the job. His colleagues (Retta and Sanjay Rao) persuade him to accept.

"Hit Man" may be inspired but is rarely real. Gary Johnson dresses up in wigs, hats, costumes, assumes multiple accents and personas to convince criminals that he is a real hit-man. The film is never involving even if it is faintly amusing.

Gary who was once dull, lived a solitary life and finds solace in bird-watching gets some unwarranted excitement in his life. But there's no adrenaline rush for the audience.

The narrative is a mashup of romcom and noir thriller with a setup that is meant for dark comedy and thrills but there's not much of either. Instead, after an overly long set-up we get a romantic entanglement that plays up to all the romcom beats. Glen Powell showcases his versatility using funny disguises and convincing talk but the film fails to be either a thriller or a comedy. It sits in-between. Fairly well-written, it's the non-committal tone that fails it.

The film plays quirky, but its no parody of the romcom genre. Neither does it have enough wit to make it entertaining. A passion project between Linklater and Powell, this film rarely makes it to thrilling grade. There's quite a bit of dialogue and not much action in the first half and in the second act, the love interest takes over with the fake hit-man getting caught up in circumstances beyond his control.

The treatment feels ordinary given that it doesn't go anywhere beyond a point. The movie plays out as predictable and boring. Powell is decent but Adria Arjona's performance fails to ignite. The lack of sparks, pedestrian action and, yawn-inducing dialogue make this quirky high-thinking project seem less than the sum of its parts. Devoid of fun elements and crazy action chops, the film experience was rather dull and bland. Calling this light entertainment may be a stretch.

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