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KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to and which are a pass. The Friday Film Review airs at 7:20 a.m., during the Noon News and in The Local View. KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are: Barb Bretz, Rick Brough, Mark Harrington and Linda Jager.

Friday Film Review | 'Hit Man'

“Hit Man” premiered at the 80th Venice Film Festival in September 2023 and in the Spotlight Category at Sundance 2024.

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite directors. I’ve enjoyed his extensive list of films, many of which have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Linklater directed and co-wrote the film “Hit Man” with its star, Glen Powell. Powell has collaborated with Linklater on several previous projects, and this one is certainly a star-making vehicle for him.

I can’t say enough about how fun it is to watch this handsome actor charm his way through the film. The character, Gary Johnson, is based on a real person: a college professor who also works with the Houston Police Department. He starts out behind the scenes in a listening unit, hidden away in the dark of a van. Eventually, he goes undercover, pretending to be a hit man to entrap those seeking to hire a killer.

Like Johnson, Powell transforms himself into a multitude of personas and excels at his job. He’s a chameleon and appears to have as much fun playing this character, as we have watching him.

For the sake of the Hollywood version of the story, the plot deviates from reality to include a scenario in which our hit man gets dangerously and personally involved with a beautiful client. That’s where all the intrigue begins.

This film is classified as a romantic action comedy. Powell’s chemistry with his co-star, versatility, physicality, and comedic timing absolutely make him the perfect lead.

Adria Arjona, as Maddy Masters, is fantastic in her role as a vulnerable seductress, who just might be a little more bad girl than good girl. We root for her anyway.

Austin Amelio plays Jasper, an undercover colleague, who blurs the lines between good cop and bad cop.

All three of their performances elevate the effectiveness of this cleverly written script.

“Hit Man” is rated R and runs for 1 hour and 55 entertaining minutes. It’s being released in limited theaters beginning May 24th and will be on Netflix June 7th.

Friday Film Reviewer & Monthly Book Reviewer