Vol. 17, No. 19 – June 12 – June 25, 2024 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
Hit Man – Netflix

4 out of 4 palm trees

Hit Man” is a dark comedy starring Glen Powell as Gary Johnson, an average everyday college psychology professor that took up some side work with the local police department as he was very skilled in tech and engineering. He worked with the special crimes division, targeting murder for hire jobs to prevent them from happening and jail the offenders.

The usual undercover agent Jasper (Austin Amelio) that posed as the hit man got suspended, leaving Gary to step in without training as an undercover hit man. Gary found his new line of work interesting as it allowed him to explore the human psychology dynamics he had been teaching. Multiple perps were arrested through several variations of Gary’s persona as a hit man.

Gary met a woman named Madison Masters (Adria Arjona) in a cafe with a request to take out her abusive overbearing husband and felt a connection through her vulnerability. She shared about being controlled and a victim in her relationship saying she didn’t know what she got married into. Gary encouraged her to take the money she saved and start a new life and forget everything.

They later crossed paths and ended up sleeping together. Gary said due to his line of work he had trouble maintaining what would be called a “normal relationship” and they both agreed to pursue an unusual relationship without boundaries. While out on the town, Gary and Madison ran into her ex husband Ray who threatened Gary so he pulled out a gun to diffuse the situation.

On Gary’s next undercover case, the perp was Madison’s husband Ray who wanted to pay Gary to kill Madison. Gary startled Ray and he left saying he would just kill Madison himself. Gary immediately found Madison and told her they needed to leave to protect her from Ray, but she felt it was an idol threat and they would be fine. The next morning Gary was informed that Madison’s husband Ray had been killed the night before in what appeared to be a drug deal gone bad.

Jasper had seenGary and Madison together, but decided to cover for him. When they got to the crime scene, Jasper drilled Gary for details, but he just said that he coincidentally ran into Madison. Gary later found Madison and questioned if she knew about Ray and eventually confessed his name wasn’t Ron, he had never killed anyone and that he was a fake hit man.

Gary got called back to the station and was told that Madison was the number one suspect in Ray’s murder. Jasper suggested Gary wear a wire and surprise Madison with an unannounced visit checking in on her due to hearing about Ray’s murder. Gary was smart enough to put text messages on his phone, showing it to Madison when she answered the door telling her what was happening and that she needed to play along, affirming she had nothing to do with Ray’s murder.

Gary left then went back to Madison’s and Jasper was there. Jasper planned to extort them to keep their secret and wanted his job back. Gary got upset but Madison told him to calm down, not knowing she had drugged Jasper’s drink. Jasper fell unconscious, but Madison feared she used too much and actually killed him. Could Gary’s side job pretending to be someone else become his real life calling to protect the love he found while living a lie, or would he side with the law.

Hit Man” is a true delight with many unpredictable twists and is loosely based on the real life of Gary Johnson who was a college professor, assisted as an undercover agent in over 70 arrests and never actually murdered anyone.
Runtime: 1h 53m

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