: Inspired by the unbelievable true story, a strait-laced professor (Glen Powell) uncovers his hidden talent as a fake hit man in undercover police stings. He meets his match in a client (Adria Arjona) who steals his heart and ignites a powder keg of deception, delight, and mixed-up identities.


Glen Powell is on the way to be the new go to leading man in Hollywood after his breakout charismatic performance as the cocky “Hangman” in Top Gun: Maverick. His latest romcom, Anyone But You is a huge success and his next big screen outing is the summer blockbuster, Twisters.

The Texan is just getting started it seems and he has now joined Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Boyhood) in writing Hit Man and starring in the leading role. Powell plays Gary Johnson, a down-to-earth professor of psychology at the University of New Orleans who also works as a part-time tech for the police department. When a real police officer, Jasper (Justin Amelio) is suspended, Gary has to stand-in as a fake hitman to take down people who plans to pay for murder.

Things turned complicated or in this case romantic when Ron (Gary’s fake persona) falls in love with a woman, Madison (Adria Arjona) who initially wanted to engage Ron to kill her controlling, abusive husband. Gary or Ron, the unlikely couple quickly descends into lust and love while the shady Jasper is harbouring sinister intentions towards them.

It’s a surprise to learn that Hit Man is actually based on a real person who worked undercover and poses as a hitman for the police department. While the real “Gary” did helped a woman in leaving her toxic marriage, they never really fall in love unlike the movie.

Hit Man is very much a fun movie to watch. Richard Linklater knows his way of directing a crowd-pleaser filled with romance, wit and charm. Honestly, it’s not much of a crime movie. We can’t even tell if the material presented is supposedly to be tongue-in-cheek or a true reflection of how desperate a person can be when they are out of their means. We guessed people are just that vulnerable to believe it’s that easy to hire a hitman to take out their enemies or love ones.

And then there is Glen Powell’s character whom with genuine touches from the makeup department turned up from one scene to another with totally different looks and mannerisms. Playing opposite Powell is Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona (Morbius), turning up the heat as the seemingly innocent Madison. Their chemistry is dazzlingly and perfect even though their characters are morally questionable.

Of course, Hit Man is not perfect especially the less than satisfying conclusion. But for nearly two hours, you will be swept away by Powell’s effortless charm and acting skills. Throw in their smartly written lines and some well supporting work from the cast, it’s a slick sexy romantic comedy not to be missed.

Like what Gary says, all pie is good pie.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Comedy
Glen Powell, Adria Arjona, Austin Amelio, Retta, Sanjay Rao, Molly Bernard, Evan Holtzman
Director: Richard Linklater
Rating: M18
Year Made: 2024



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 55 mins