Movie Review: HIT MAN Is A Charming Winner and Linklater’s Sexiest Film

Richard Linklater, a renowned filmmaker from Austin, brings us a unique blend of fun and steamy romance in his latest movie, loosely based on the true story of Hit Man by Skip Hollandsworth. Set in Houston, Texas, Hollandsworth’s story revolves around the actual ‘hitman,’ Gary Johnson, a contract employee for the police who posed as a hired killer to catch people with murderous intent.

In Linklater’s movie, Glen Powell stars as Johnson, whose experience is nearly identical. However, in the film, Gary works for the New Orleans Police Department and falls in love with one of his marks, a gorgeous lady named Maddy (Adria Arjona). During one of the police’s sting operations, Gary poses as contract killer Ron, a cool, smooth-talking man who becomes so captivated with Maddy that he convinces her not to hire him to kill her abusive husband, Ray (Evan Holtzman). Later on, Gary/Ron gets contacted by Maddy, which leads to a date and a fiery romance. However, this relationship complicates things for Gary, especially after Ray dies.

Linklater, who co-wrote the screenplay with lead actor Glen Powell, has delivered another winning movie with Hit Man. The writing is almost perfect, with witty dialogue, great storytelling, and surprises galore. My only complaint is the ending, which concludes the film too neatly to be realistic. Considering how well everything else plays out, it is a minor gripe.

Linklater has found a great collaborator in Glen Powell. Not only is he a solid screenwriter, he is an absolute star of an actor. Powell shines beautifully here. He gets to show his range as a performer, as he not only portrays the awkward and not-so-personable Gary but also the sexy, sophisticated Ron, along with all of the other characters he portrays while working undercover. He has incredible charisma, a significant screen presence, and excellent comic timing.

The movie is not just about the intriguing plot, but also about the sizzling chemistry between the lead actors. Glen Powell and Adria Arjona light up the screen with their performances. Powell, in particular, showcases his versatility as he seamlessly transitions between the roles of the awkward Gary and the suave Ron. Arjona, on the other hand, brings charm, allure, and humor to her character, Maddy. The movie also features stellar performances by Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao, Evan Holtzman, and Molly Bernard.

Hit Man is currently on a limited run in theaters and will be available for streaming on Netflix on June 7. It is one of the most entertaining movies I have seen this year. I knew Glen Powell had talent, but this movie proves he deserves Hollywood stardom. Depending on who the competition is at the end of the year, I believe he has a strong chance of getting acting nominations for his outstanding performance here.

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