Hit Man Review – IGN

This review is based on a screening at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.

With a tour de force performance by Glen Powell and a sharp script, Hit Man delivers the kind of intense romance sorely lacking in sexless Hollywood movies. It’s a fascinating character study that, though directed by Richard Linklater, gives off the vibes of a chaotic, dark crime comedy from the Coen brothers. Come for Powell’s ascendance to superstardom, stay for one of the funniest and most entertaining movies of the year.

Powell is not playing a superstar, however. Rather, he fully takes advantage of the fact that most of the world – or the major American studios, at least – hasn’t caught up to the fact that Long-fingered Boy from Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over has turned into one of the best actors working today. No, the Top Gun: Maverick breakout plays Gary Johnson, a name so unremarkable it feels fake. He is the most boring man alive, one whose drab hobbies and interests wouldn’t even be fit for the lyrics of Weird Al’s “White & Nerdy.” When he’s not talking to people about birdwatching, Gary is teaching psychology at a university – the guy has two cats named Id and Ego – or moonlighting as a part-time police wiretapper. Naturally, he finds the least sexy role within a sting operation aimed at snuffing out murder-for-hire plots: He’s the technician who makes sure the equipment is working properly.