As someone who’s not too familiar with Richard Linklater’s works besides School of Rock, Hit Man felt like the perfect introduction to the rest of his filmography. Tapping slightly into the dark thriller genre to give it that edge while maintaining the comedy side of it, which excels perfectly well in this film.
Glen Powell also returns after starring in the box office bomb Devotion and completely redeems himself with this film. Not only does Glen Powell star in Hit Man but for the first time in his career, he has a writing credit as he co-wrote the film with Director Richard Linklater, showing that he has more than just one talent.
Hit Man 2023 Movie Review
Hit Man tells the semi-true story of Gary Johnson, who’s a full-time teacher who lives at home alone with his two cats. As a part-time job, he works undercover for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and eventually ends up being their ‘Hit Man’ under certain circumstances. All of this leads Gary Johnson into a life he didn’t expect and into the hands of a woman named Madison (Adira Arjona), whom he ends up falling in love with.
The film moves at an amazing pace, allowing for all the jokes to land perfectly while keeping the story going. Though the film is almost 2 hours long, the time flies by with how much fun you end up having with it. The start of the film sets up expectations for the rest of it by giving us a day in the life of Gary Johnson and seeing how boring his life can be with the regular NOPD stings here and there.
Once he’s abruptly thrown into becoming a fake ‘Hit Man’ for them who strings in people with murderous intent, he starts to feel like he’s found his niche. We see this in a montage that shows Gary disguising himself as different ‘Hit Men’ who fit the personality of his victim. Soon after, he comes across a woman named Madison who wants to murder her husband, but he sways her to change her ways, which eventually brings an improvement to her life.
From this point on, the film really starts to kick off.
There are two things about Hit Man that stand out and make the film as good as it is. The first thing is the script. Richard Linklater and Glen Powell created the best version of the story that they could’ve possibly come up with. The consistent pacing throughout and the right balance of crime and thriller mixed in with the comedy worked like a charm for the film and is what makes it one of my favourite films of the year.
The second thing is Glen Powell and Adira Arjona and how well they played off each other in the film. Glen Powell has gotten a lot of praise from the critics, which is all well deserved as he gives off his best performance yet, but I think without Adira Arjona playing off him so well, a lot of his scenes could’ve fallen flat completely, and we’re lucky to have gotten both of these stars in this film.
Hit Man is a laugh-out-loud film that will have you laughing at least once during the 113 minutes. It performed well at the Venice International Film Festival and also at the Toronto International Film Festival, leading it to be bought by Netflix for $20 million.
I can see it also performing very well at the London Film Festival when the public gets to watch it, and it easily becomes a favourite among people like it has with me. Hit Man is easily the funniest film of the year, with a perfect script and the best cast to go along. With the perfect script and the best cast to go along with it, Hit Man easily becomes the funniest film of the year.
Rating: 5 out of 5