|Index||9 reviews in total|
the hit list is an awesome film . i think the jazz soundtrack adds to
the 'mood ' and suspense . his film adds to the fact that all you need
to make a great suspense film is a man , a woman , an old man , a
villain and most definitely ... a room with a view (preferably a view
offered by a telescope ) i mean , now , how many erotic thrillers have
featured glass windowed apartments which have a telescope ...?
the beauty of watching such films is the fact that they have residues of great suspense moments created by many directors and storytellers over the years . hence you always end-up feeling or rather being reminded of some classics .
one doubt though . the film was R-Rated for most things . however the version i saw had none of hose things . people out there please educate me if there is an uncut version or at least if what i saw was probably cut .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Charlie Pike is an ex-military assassin working for the Committee a
group of lawyers who enforce their own version of justice where they
rep rich drug dealers to protect their reputation then kill their
clients by using Pike, who engineers the deaths to look like accidents
or natural causes. After his last job, Pike decides to retire but is
given a favour by Committee head Peter Mayhew to help a family friend
who is being menaced by her late husband's business partner. Pike
agrees to kill the partner, but when he discovers that the target was a
former comrade turned government informant, he suspects that something
is not quite right about this job. And when various assassins attempt
to kill him, he realises that he has walked into a deadly trap of his
William Webb will be known these days as being the DOP for the hit military cop show NCIS. But back in the early 1990s, he made The Hit List, a B-grade thriller starring the likes of Jeff Fahey & James Coburn.
The film is a routine thriller, nothing more, nothing less. But the plot is interesting enough to make this worth a watch for B-film enthusiasts & the fact that Fahey gives a good performance & James Coburn is as sinister as ever. The relationship between Fahey's assassin & Yancy Butler's double-dealing client is rocky given her duplicity but does hold by a tiny thread. The ending is a little weak but does have that Romeo & Juliet feel to it that makes it watchable.
"The Hit List" (1993) is definitely a neo-noir and the IMDb rating is
about right. I liked it even though its plot, while original in its
details and twists, still may seem to have an overall element of
predictability. It's really after the fact of viewing it, however, that
some of it may appear to have been done before or close to it.
This is not troubling. Just as in westerns, the good guys almost always shoot it out with the bad guys at the end and win, so it is that in film noir the good guys often find themselves in hot water, meeting up with devious characters who don't seem devious, and quite often these heroes come to a bad end. The movie "Criss Cross" (1949) comes to mind and knowing film noir fans will be alert to areas of resemblance of "The Hit List" to that classic.
The protagonist is a hit-man (Jeff Fahey). He knocks off bad guys for the NSA, his most recent work having been in Colombia. He has an arrangement with James Coburn in which he works indirectly for a set of high-class lawyers who get their clients acquitted but who know they're guilty and want to see them punished. Two policemen are investigating these murders. Fahey is about to retire from the business but Coburn wants him to do one more job for the daughter of a friend. The woman is Yancy Butler. Fahey agrees because she reminds him of his lost girl friend in Colombia, he's strongly attracted to her and her helplessness, and the man after her appears to be the same man who was an enemy in Colombia.
So as not to spoil the story, I will say no more. I only want to present an antidote to the other mostly negative reviews. While this movie is no gem, neither is it a dud. But I do think that it will be more to the liking of noir fans than those who are looking for lots of thrills. Also, it won't satisfy viewers looking for nudity and erotic scenes. It has maybe three scenes in which Fahey and Butler do some heavy kissing and grappling with one another. They show their attachment but it's not really erotic. The scenes come to a reasonably fast end, and this movie is not an erotic thriller.
It's more one of those stories in which there are complex relationships that reach back to the past, and the past is influencing the present. The protagonist and we the viewers can't quite understand all that's happening. We can make intelligent guesses, based on events and on body language, but we can't be certain until the finale.
Yancy Butler has never been sexier... In this cool flick she hires Jeff Fahey, who works for an organization run by James Coburn, to find the killer of her husband. The film looks great and has lots of twists and surprises. Probably Fahey's best role. The film is better than I thought it would be. And the ending is a shocking surprise.
Charlie Pike is an ex-Government agent turned contract killer. He kills on
behalf of lawyer Peter Mahew who is part of a committee of lawyers who hand
out their own version of justice. Pike takes a job from Mahew to help out a
family friend, the beautiful Jordan. However when Pike completes the
contract he falls for Jordan, a situation that leads him into a double
crossing situation where deception leads to murder.
When the wonderfully creative people in the TVM business sit down to really push the envelope on a project they really go for it. Imagine the planning meeting for this! `hey, lets make a thriller about a hitman who is ruthless, but really a good guy who is sensitive and listens to classical music', `yeah and lets have him be kind but tough and trying to get out of the business except this one last job'. After that how else can they make it really stand out well lets shoot it all in blues and shadow of TVM noir and have the usual jazz soundtrack to add `atmosphere' and `mood'.
Nothing in the plot or film really manages to be different from any other TVM you'd see and it fails to engage simply for this reason. On top of the cliché ridden film we have an obvious bit of casting with Fahey and Butler (neither strangers to this tvm stuff). The only surprise was Coburn who I imagine has let stuff like this slip off his CV since he got his Oscar.
Overall this is so very predictable and clichéd that it really fails to inspire even a little bit of interest. We have every staple of the thriller/noir TVM soft porn, jazz music, unimaginative direction it's all here. It's not a bad film, just a very flat one that has all the appeal of a mass produced industrial production when compared to something clever or inspired.
This film starts by giving you the impression you are in for a good show
movie or not), right from the outake you are presented with a far from
unattractive sexually active blonde and Jeff Fahey (someone I regard as a
good actor) preparing to do something nasty with a suppressed gun and a
container of rather deadly looking pills! This is where the impression
quickly wears off. The plot is very weak making it impossible to take
eyes off the screen in fear of getting lost in the film should you decide
do so. The action is also very weak and never really takes off, something
which is usually a necessity in order to save a film with a plot as
as this. I never have been a big fan of Yancy Butler but have never been
to complain about her removing her clothes, something which this film
shy's away from bar once. I cannot think of one reason to recommend this
film for viewing, so basically don't watch it....
Think of a cliché, any cliché, in a movie about a professional hit men
getting tangled in a web of revenge. Thought about one? It's in this
The leading star Jeff Fahey plays the pro-hit-man and as you could've guessed, he's the sexy, strong silent type hit-man who hardly speaks more then 3 sentences in a conversation. ("I only kill people who deserve to die...") There are flashbacks when someone looks at a picture, there is a client falling in love with the hit-men, etc. etc. etc. The conversations in the movie are the stereotype dialogues you expect in a b-movie and the police-officers investigating the murders just seem to be working on their first case ever.
I give it a 4, for there are martial arts movies about revenge that are worse then this, but this movie comes close...
This movie is slow and tedious. But thats only at the first viewing of it. The Story is actually a fun and original one. Yancy Butler's Real life ex-fiancé (Jeff Fayhey lawnmoverman ) Plays charlie Pike a Hit man who takes a Job as a favor for Jordan Henning ( Yancy Butler ) the rich widow of a mob boss. But Jordan has something more sinister up her sleave then the protection she is asking pike for. The acting in this film is surreal and eerie. Fahey gives a oddly quiet though not bad performance of the hit-man falling for the possibly deadly Butler. He is fit in the role. This was Yancy's first film. She does an excellent job. Still though today this film lookes and sounds dated. It didn't stand the test of time...but its still for a good viewing every now and then.
Like I said, this is quite a trashy movie. I didn't realize that it had been on TV until I checked this web site recently. Anyway, I saw the movie on video; so I'm sure that it was edited severely before it hit TV. There is a topless breast shot in the first ten seconds. As far as what that says for the rest of the movie, do your own math. Even though I am a huge fan of Yancy Butler, this movie just didn't do it for me. And that's saying something because I'm an open minded person who's willing to give anything a chance. (See my comments on the police action thriller "Jailbait".) There is a funny scene where Jeff Fahey and Yancy Butler are making out, and her hair gets in his mouth. (As you can tell, I find just about anything humorous.) Now that James Coburn has won an Oscar, he is probably trying to erase all connections between himself and this movie.
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