REVIEWS: Action & Thrillers — July 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm

REVIEW: The Hit List (2011)

I cannot say I am a die hard Cuba Gooding jr fan, neither i can assure that i am familiar with his work. I have seen a few of his films, the guy can act, thats for sure, but that’s it for me (maybe because he was an A’list actor first?).

Recently however, Gooding has been involved with numerous low-budget productions, way below his star status (which, according to some, continues to fall, after he got an Oscar).

One of his latest, “The Hit List” – can also be considered a low-budget film, yet it turned out to be much more than that.

Simple yet solid story focuses on a loser, named Alan Campbell (played by Cole Hauser), who, one day loses it all – he fails to get a job promotion, his wife appears to be cheating on him with his best friend and Alan feels like a “human punching bag”. Well, he is in fact. However, in just one night, he will forget about all that, since a lot bigger problems will arise…

That same day, Alan gets drunk in a bar, and meets Jonas, a mysterious man (Cuba Gooding jr), who turns out to be a professional killer. After a nice little talk with Alan, Jonas offers him a deal – Alan picks 5 people whom he hates most of all, and Jonas will “take care of them”.

Alan at first doesn’t believe Jonas is the real deal, plus he is drunk, so he does write down 5 names… And the next day, bodies start to pile up. Alan has to figure out what’s going on and somehow stop Jonas from killing everyone…

This is actually the movie, that makes you root for the killer (in this case, its Gooding Jr). You want him to succeed.

Anyway, the script is quite thin, but interesting direction, and dialogues make you want to continue watching. Hauser and Gooding have a fantastic scene at the bar, where you can actually feel how pathetic Alan is, and Jonas (like he says himself “i am the only real friend you ever had Alan”) feels that his new “friend” needs some help, only he can provide.

I can actually see why Gooding accepted the part of Jonas – throughout the whole film he gets to wreak havoc, he has the coolest lines (“If it was a joke, would it be funny” – this one is already a classic!), and it seems like he’s having fun.

There are some scenes in the film, directly taken from a more famous movies (Jonas invading the police station is a complete “Terminator” rip-off, yet it looks okay), but overall, its a great midnight entertainment.

Especially if you’re into Cuba Gooding jr, mark my word, this film is actually better than it looks like. Definitely recommended.

BZFILM SCALE: 7/10



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