The Hit List is a decent movie that seems to follow the trends of today's films. Starring Cole Hauser and Cuba Gooding Jr, The Hit List is a essentially about a man trying to play the role God. Cuba Gooding Jr, playing a hitman, goes on a killing spree in order to teach a passive businessman, played by Cole Hauser, to be more assertive. This is not unlike many other movies I have seen both in the past (The Hitcher) and more recently (The Saw Series). In each of these movies, mortal men try to teach others a lesson through killing. Many would call these men insane, but they all seem level-headed and logical. I cannot help but to see the similarities. Are movie-makers running out of ideas? Are we, the audience, doomed to sit through different versions of the same story over and over until a pioneer steps up with something new? But I digress. The Hit List does display some noteworthy traits.
The Hit List takes us into the life of Allan Campbell (Cole Hauser) on a very bad day. In the course of a single day he receives a threatening call from a loan shark, fails to receive a promotion that would allow him to pay said loan shark, and learns that his wife has been less than faithful to him. Campbell has reached the edge. During the night of his very bad day, he meets a worn-looking man in a suit; a man who's posture is not unlike his own. The man introduces himself as Jonas, and Campbell pegs him as a shoulder to cry on. After the two men discuss Campbell's bad luck for a while, Jonas offers his opinion on the situation. He calls Campbell weak. He says that Campbell is the cause of all of his own problems. Jonas says that a real friend would tell him the truth, implying that he was indeed Campbell's only true friend. This is where the story truly gets interesting.
Jonas tells Campbell the whole truth. He tells Campbell he is a killer; a hitman After some laughter of disbelief, the businessman decides to humor his new friend. The supposed killer offers Campbell a napkin, telling him to write down five names. These were to be the names of the five people in the world he most wanted dead. More laughter ensues, and Campbell again decides to play along. Little does he know, these are the names of the people he will spend the remainder of the movie trying to save.
Not unlike Jame Cameron's Avatar, The Hit List offers an old story in a new and interesting way. Where I see Avatar as an updated version of Dances with Wolves, I see The Hit List as a new twist on The Hitcher, as previously mentioned. In both cases, the reinvention is done well, however the fact remains that the idea is not completely original. The plot of a movie is arguably its most important elements. If the plot isn't original, can the movie be called a success? Many would argue an obvious “yes” in the case of Avatar; the box office results speak for themselves. However, The Hit List seems to fall short in both originality and execution. The story is somewhat new, but not new enough to make it any more than a decent film.
I rented The Hit List and I recommend you do the same. In my opinion, it is not worth buying, but those who enjoy action and thriller movies will appreciate this movie. Who's on your hit list?