Alex, a hit man, tries to get out of the family business, but his father won't let him do so. While seeking the help of a therapist, he meets a sexually charged 23-year-old woman with whom he falls in love.
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William H. Macy,
Alex, a sad-eyed mournful man, goes into psychotherapy: he discloses he's a hit man. He also tells the doctor, after a few sessions, that he's attracted to a young woman he's met in the waiting room. She's Sarah, 23, quick, edgy, and perhaps attracted to him as well. But he's married, the dutiful father of a young precocious boy, so Sarah brushes him off. In flashbacks we see him get his start as a killer, at his father's prompting: it's the family business. Dad gives Alex his next assignment: to kill the therapist. Alex keeps returning to Sarah, calling her, stopping by her apartment, as he decides what to do about the hit, his father, his marriage, and his malaise. Written by
"Panic" is a captivating, blurred-genre film about a brooding and conflicted middle aged hitman's reconciliation of infatuation with a younger uninhibited hairstylist, his love of wife and son, his duty to his employer/father with his own identity. Although the film has a nebulous purpose and an ambiguous ending, it is a superb production in almost all aspects. The characters' clarity and sincerity in such an improbable story may both fascinate and annoy audiences.
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