The Hit Listing has a very thrilling, enjoyably fascinating fantasy at its coronary heart, tugging on the fascinating concept of eliminating your enemies in actual life (watch out what you want for). As with all good thrillers, the fantasy finally shifts into terror, because the humorous notion fades right into a nightmare involving cold-blooded, violent demise. The thought is good, and far of the plot development is masterful, however the general execution is flawed. It is nearly as if the writers grasped a narrative that was too nice for their very own good, unable to sort out it the best way extra skilled filmmakers might need. Maybe just a few extra minds wanted to be concerned within the varied enhancing phases.
In Seattle, Washington, skilled killer Jonas Arbor (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is out of the blue struck by traumatic flashbacks, worsened by the truth that he is just lately found his well being is waning. As a substitute of continuing with the assassination he is been assigned, he turns to vigilantism and strikes a unique goal, a controversial discuss present host. Earlier than any of the main points are revealed, the opening scene merely exhibits Arbor crawling away from bed in his underwear, and a following shot with an agent claiming the hitman has gone lacking. No motion, no explosions, no killing – only a man in black saying Arbor’s standing. Then it cuts to the title sequence, full with James Bond graphics and a theme track, additionally paying homage to 007 – “47 Methods to Die,” by Lillian Axe. It is extremely anticlimactic, and one of many worst openings to any motion film.
Instantly, the introductory dialogue is generic; however when the thrills begin to decide up, the conversations comply with swimsuit. Allan Campbell (Cole Hauser) is a company man in Washington D.C., struggling to get forward, however all the time behind in cash and outlook. His boss has misplaced religion in him; a youthful coworker steals his promotion; and his spouse Sydney (Ginny Weirick) is dishonest on him together with his greatest buddy. He additionally has a model new black eye from a mortgage shark he is been unable to pay. When he stumbles right into a bar to drink his sorrows away with Jack Daniels, he spies Arbor sitting close by. Reluctant at first, Jonas decides to interact in pleasant dialog, and briefly time, the 2 are chatting like previous buddies. Arbor reveals that he is an expert killer, however Campbell laughs it off – though not earlier than scribbling successful checklist of 5 names on a serviette. Meant as a joke, Allan is mortified to find that Arbor has elaborately deliberate to take out the 5 targets, as a favor to his new “buddy.”
A significant theme includes Allan standing up for himself and combating in opposition to those that push him round. Arbor is clearly psychotic and Campbell has simply created one other relationship he cannot stand as much as. But he wants the rogue agent’s assist to deal with at the least one of many targets. Hilariously sufficient, one of many names on his checklist he’d truly prefer to see useless, however when the physique depend begins to rise, he realizes the actually horrific nature of his actions. He is questionably an confederate to each homicide. The primary goal is his boss, Fred Gates (Wealthy Cowan); the second is his competitors, the needling newcomer Brian Felzner (Sean Prepare dinner); the third is the lowlife thug he borrowed cash from, Dom Estacado (Brandon O’Neill); the fourth, his greatest buddy Mike Dodd (Drew Waters); and the ultimate, most essential hit is his spouse – the one particular person he’ll sacrifice something to guard. Because the individuals on his checklist are shortly dispatched, the federal government company using Arbor is scorching on his path, together with native authorities.
The premise is intense and artistic, together with just a few of the motion pictures. The Hit Listing is de facto an train in creating a robust villain, nonetheless, and Cuba Gooding Jr. certainly rises to the event (he is even obtained his personal catchphrase). He is not the best antagonist ever devised, however his Terminator-like traits and cruel assassinations are greater than ample. By the top, an Assault on Precinct 13 situation is established, and Gooding stays a possible psycho. The precise conclusion might have used some sharpening, together with a lot of the dialogue, supporting characters and cinematography, however Gooding does not disappoint. The Hit Listing had extra potential than it knew the right way to deal with, leading to a movie that would use a strong remaking by extra seasoned filmmakers.
– Mike Massie