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A killer idea gets a humdrum execution in Hit Man, a movie that to no avail hopes that star Glen Powell’s charisma makes you look past the talky, suspense-free narrative and the lethargic pace.

It’s not often that a movie blatantly informs you why it just doesn’t work, but Hit Man does so right after the final scene, when it tells the audience that while the film is based on a real person, the most crucial plot elements play very loose with the truth.

Does this matter? No, it shouldn’t. But it does explain why this tale about a master of disguise who goes undercover as a fake hitman in sting operations never rings true, as almost every story beat feels directly lifted from a basic screenwriting handbook.

Not helping either is the fact that director Richard Linklater, while clearly mostly aiming for an offbeat romcom dynamic between the titular character and a woman he initially tries to catch, cannot settle on a coherent, compelling tone and style.

At least current it-man Glen Powell – who came up with the story and produced the film – lights up the screen, you might ask? Alas. The actor obviously enjoys the many wigs and costumes he tries on throughout Hit Man, but the chemistry with co-star Adria Arjona is sorely lacking.

So it pains me to say that Hit Man fits in snugly with most of Richard Linklater’s output as a great idea is rendered mostly moot and unengaging by unfocused execution.

release: 2024

director: Richard Linklater

starring: Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, Retta


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