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  • Writer's pictureSmash Hit Chronicles

Hit Man (2023)

Just watched Hit Man, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Glen Powell and Adria Arjona, and I have to say, it’s a charming and quirky little comedy that really got me thinking about identity and self-perception. The film is based on a 2001 Texas Monthly article and follows Gary Johnson, a mild-mannered college professor who somehow ends up working as an undercover hit man for the local police. I know, it sounds a bit far-fetched, especially since Gary is played by the undeniably charismatic Glen Powell, who also co-wrote and produced the movie.

Powell’s performance is definitely a highlight. He’s got this natural charm and versatility that makes Gary’s transformation into various hit man personas both amusing and believable. Despite his looks, Powell’s Gary is convincingly oblivious to his own appeal, and that makes his character all the more endearing. The chemistry between Powell and Arjona, who plays Madison - a woman trying to escape her abusive husband - is just electric. Their romance adds a lot of depth and spark to the film.

What I really enjoyed about this film is how it explores the idea of identity. Gary’s journey of self-discovery through playing different characters is fascinating and raises some interesting philosophical questions about the nature of self and authenticity. These themes are woven into the story with a light touch, which is typical of Linklater’s style, and it makes for an engaging and thought-provoking experience.


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Now, I wouldn’t call Hit Man a laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s more about broad charm than big laughs, which gives it a kind of milquetoast feel at times. But honestly, that’s part of its appeal. The plot, while a bit predictable here and there, unfolds at a relaxed pace and includes some smart twists that keep you interested in how the characters will change and grow.

The supporting cast, especially Austin Amelio as Gary’s police rival, adds a nice texture to the story, but it’s really Powell and Arjona who steal the show. Their scenes together have this spontaneous, almost improvisational vibe that really enhances the film’s themes of role-playing and self-actualization.

TSHC Score: 7.5/10

Hit Man is a breezy and enjoyable film that stands out because of its strong performances and fun story. It might not be the most groundbreaking comedy out there, but it offers a delightful and reflective experience that I think a lot of people will appreciate.


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