The Reel Review


A mild-mannered New Orleans college professor moonlighting as an undercover cop is caught up in deception after he falls for a woman trying to hire him to kill her husband. Glen Powell and Adria Arjona star in this crime rom-com inspired by real life professor/undercover cop Gary Johnson.

Glen Powell in Hit Man

Powell does a good job of chanelling the professor who discovers he has a knack for using disguises to create various hit man personas. His all too brief Tilda Swinton-like persona in particular is the most hilarious and the onscreen chemistry between Powell (Anyone But You, Top Gun: Maverick) and Arjona (Morbius) is believable.

Adria Arjona and Glen Powell in Hit Man

As cute and breezy a romcom as Hit Man is, the plausibility of the goofy story, written by director Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Skip Hollandsworth and Powell, starts to fall apart with some odd, clunky tonal shifts involving a killing in the third act. Hit Man is cute enough but would have been served by a more convincing screenplay with a lot more comic leaning-in to the various hit man personas.


Left: Gary Johnson out of disguise, and right: undercover

• The real Gary Johnson, described by Houston police as the Lawrence Olivier of undercover, died during of unknown causes during the production and never got to see the finished film.

• This movie is based on the 2001 Texas Monthly article by Skip Hollandsworth. This is the second time that Linklater has made a movie based on a Texas Monthly article by Hollandsworth, the first being the 2011 dark comedy Bernie, starring Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine

• Although Gary Johnson lived and worked in Houston, Hit Man was set in and filmed in New Orleans.


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