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Hit Man is a charming cinematic bullseye

Glen Powell brings his everyman charms to Netflix in "Hit Man." Oscar-nominated director Richard Linklater helmed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Powell, inspired by an unbelievable true story. In the movie, Powell portrays Gary Johnson, a conscientious professor who leads a double life as a fabricated contract killer working in collaboration with the New Orleans Police Department. 

With a masterful ability to adopt various identities and personas, Gary finds himself in a web of ethical complexity when he falls for Madison (Adria Arjona), a captivating young woman deeply involved in criminal activities. As their relationship, complicated by Gary's assumed hitman persona, Ron, deepens, a series of pretenses, deceit, and heightened risks unfold, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

One of the first things viewers should know before watching the film is that there is no action. However, the engaging storyline, coupled with Powell's stellar performance, makes 'Hit Man' a must-watch. 

Powell's portrayal of Gary is both charming and enigmatic. He effortlessly slips into various guises and personas to trap unsuspecting individuals seeking to eliminate their foes. His preternatural talent for assuming different identities adds a layer of complexity to his character and validates Powell's comedic timing while blurring the lines between truth and fiction.

The narrative takes a thrilling turn when Gary's path crosses with Madison's, portrayed with magnetic allure by Adria Arjona.  The script ingeniously brings the two together, and their relationship is treated with a delicate balance of tension and tenderness. As the beautiful young woman falls for Gary's hitman alter ego, Ron, the film plunges into the murky depths of love, trust, and betrayal. The palpable chemistry between Powell and Arjona ignites the screen, drawing viewers into their complex and compelling romance.  

I wasn't familiar with Adria Arjona's previous work, and while she alludes to sensuality, the film never turns her into a full-on femme fatale. The script somewhat humanizes her character, allowing us to understand her motivations. I also liked the supporting work from Austin Amelio and Retta, who have a couple of scene-stealing moments with their one-liners.

What sets "Hit Man" apart is its exploration of the consequences of playing with fire. As Gary and Madison's affair intensifies, the stakes escalate, leading to a series of witty twists and turns that keep audiences glued to the screen. As for the direction, Richard Linklater keeps the pace moving along briskly with a sharp script filled with witty dialogue. The film's stylish cinematography and pulsating soundtrack enhance the mood artistically. 

While it may not be packed with action, 'Hit Man' is a sophisticated, engaging film that subverts the contract killer genre. With standout and exciting performances from Glen Powell and Adria Arjona, this movie offers a fresh and unique take on the genre, making it a compelling watch.

Final Grade: A-

"Hit Man" is in limited theaters now and can stream on Netflix on June 7th.

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